A new-build housing estate brought rising roll numbers and an urgent need for more classroom space at a village primary school near Chippenham.
Staff at Sutton Benger C of E Aided Primary School knew they needed a more permanent solution than that offered by mobile classrooms, but were also constrained by the design of the school building which left them with nowhere obvious to extend.
Leading joinery manufacturer Scotts of Thrapston was approached by the 162-pupil school to provide a new classroom.
Traci Langford, finance officer at the school, said: “New housing in the village meant that we needed to provide an extra classroom to accommodate the increased pupil numbers.
“The school building, while fairly modern, doesn’t lend itself to an extension, the position of corridors and access would make it very complicated. Equally, we wanted to provide a permanent building, so a mobile classroom was not an option. The Scotts building provided the answer.”
Scotts, who have been making and distributing timber products since 1920, first started creating education buildings in 2014 and like the rest of the company’s projects, Sutton Benger’s new classroom was constructed and ready for use in a matter of weeks.
Work began before the end of the summer term and the classroom was ready for the Year Six class to move in to when they started in September.
Traci added: “The builders were very good. A great deal of the work was done off-site, which does make the construction easier in a school environment, but there was a secure compound and the children were able to see the building progressing without being in any danger.
“I think many of the pupils enjoyed watching the developments and witnessing their new classroom being constructed. It was handed over to us during the summer holidays and the Year Six class started the autumn term in there in September.”
As well as a bright teaching area complete with wet zone the new building has a cloakroom, two toilets including one with access for the disabled.
Scotts offers a core range of education buildings but more often than not, provides bespoke solutions to meet its customers’ individual needs.
Philip Goldstone, Scotts of Thrapston’s business development manager, explains how the company perfectly combines traditional craftsmanship with the latest technology. He said: “Ultimately our education buildings are designed to make the best use of the space available and to provide optimum energy efficiency.
“We believe that the ideal learning environment begins with a building that inspires and motivates by its architectural form. To achieve their full potential, pupils need to feel comfortable in their environment and research has shown that acoustic conditions can have a profound impact on both children’s learning and staff performance. The feedback we have had from the pupils and the teachers who have used the new classroom is that they all enjoy their new environment.
“The Scotts design service takes into account all elements of the building design including light, ventilation, thermal comfort and acoustics. The right amount of light, both artificial and natural, is crucial. We advise on door and window positions based on a building’s orientation – avoiding light from south facing walls which can result in uncomfortable solar gain in summer and western aspects which can lead to unpleasant glare on winter afternoons.
“Space is also a huge consideration and a stand out feature of Scotts’ education buildings is the high ceilings that provide a feeling of spaciousness.
“The beauty of Scotts’ education buildings is that they can be completely tailored to suit the setting and are designed to precisely meet the end user’s specification. As well as the classroom the buildings include a lobby, cloakroom, washroom and store and we can also cater for any special needs requirements, accessibility issues or existing structures that need to be taken into consideration.”