- Worcestershire County Council
- Project Leaders
- Mike Court
Wyre Forest School, as part of a reorganisation within Worcestershire County Council (WCC), was changing from a 1 FE First School to a 1.5FE Primary School with Nursery and Children’s Centre provision. It was also moving to a new site to accommodate this change in pupil age – a controversial decision that received some initial local opposition. Therefore, the challenge for Quattro was to deliver a school that met the needs of all stakeholders. At an early stage, Quattro carried out close consultation with WCC, the school and the wider community stakeholders through the use of workshops, presentations and drop-ins, to deliver a final design solution influenced by this successful collaboration and providing positive reassurance to the initial opposition.
Quattro’s specialist Education Architects agreed a design solution that retained the identity of the existing first school and incorporated the identity of the new school, echoing their motto “Explore, dream, discover, achieve and be… ‘Simply the Best’”. The design also reflects the importance of spaces and the interconnectedness of the new school’s teaching methods.
The new school site, a former middle school, was located minutes away from the existing education facilities and presented a further challenge with a public footpath restricting the very tight site, requiring innovative design solutions to overcome this constraint.
The building forms are clearly expressed so the building can be seen and approached from a variety of directions. Elements from the first school such as, the stained-glass windows, the form of the hall, materials and vivid colours are seen in the new design retaining the identity of the existing school within the community – instrumental in the acceptance of the new facilities. The main material used is red brick, the local vernacular, with feature coloured panels reflecting the decorative tradition of canal barges. The use of spatial drama and colour on the exterior and throughout the interior, provides an uplifting and stimulating environment for all its users.
Due to the public footpath crossing the site, Quattro designed a 2-storey solution with a single welcoming entrance for the whole community. This entrance provides a pathway to a spacious ‘street’ which links the halls, administration hub, learning resources area and 2-storey classrooms block. All the classes and group rooms lead out onto covered external play areas, both at ground and first floor levels.
Low carbon was high on the client’s agenda and the school felt sustainability was important within the teaching and learning environment. Therefore, Quattro’s Education Architects adopted a fabric first approach incorporating sustainability features into the design that can be visibly identified by the pupils. These include: solar collectors, a green sedum roof, ventilating solar chimneys, windcatchers, an extensive SUDS drainage system, visible biomass boilers and hoppers, PV’s and digital read outs. The school achieved very good BREEAM certification.
The new Stourport Primary School with Children’s Centre and integrated Nursery has been a fantastic success.
Head teacher, Jackie Elwis, says that there has been a marked improvement in pupils’ behaviour and learning since the new school opened.