Improving learning & wellbeing for 600 Kent pupils
Plans submitted by our team have been approved to build a new school building for Bearsted Primary & Snowfield Schools in Kent.
The new two-storey building will be built on greenfield site known as Pope’s Field, off Bearsted Road in Maidstone. The school will provide teaching facilities for the Leigh Academies Trust, joining two schools under one roof so both can benefit from sharing their facilities and opportunities.
The school will provide nearly 600 places for local children, responding to a clear demand for much-needed primary school provision and SEN facilities in the area.
Snowfields Academy will cater for 140 11-18 year olds in the central Kent area, whose primary need is Autism Spectrum Disorder; and Bearsted Primary Academy will offer spaces for 420 4-11 year olds, plus a nursery provision for 26 children.
We were asked to design a building with optimised teaching environments which would help to create a vibrant and pioneering school community. The two connected schools needed to have two individual identities, with private outdoor spaces for each, as well as a large sheltered courtyard space. It also needed to support local organisations with its new facilities, through simple zoning for out-of-hours use.
The educational potential of the site has been maximised, allowing the school to capitalise on the landscape as a learning resource. The masterplan incorporates a horticulture area, playing field, wetland habitat and natural woodland for forest school learning. The interior design uses biophilic principles to inspire learning and improve the wellbeing of its pupils.
A robust palette of traditional materials such as local Maidstone ragstone and coordinating brickwork offers a light and welcoming feel and will stand the test of time. Internally, the design will integrate passive environmental design principles to enhance performance and reduce energy consumption.
We’re really pleased to be expanding our education portfolio around the London area. We are specialists in designing schools to inspire learning which enable academies and trusts to invest in the future generations.
The project is due to start on site in summer 2019, ready to complete in time for September 2020.
The project team for the Bearsted Primary Academy & Snowfield Schools includes Bowmer + Kirkland as the contractor, Curtins as the structural engineer, Couch Perry Wilkes as the building services engineer, Ares Landscape as the landscape architect, and DHA as the planning and highways consultant.