Towers Junior School

Innovative primary school modernisation on a shoestring budget

We have completed two projects at this two-form-entry primary school in Havering:

The first project was much-needed refurbishment of the whole school. Rather than trying to squeeze extra area into undersized classrooms, our approach was to open up the school from the inside by creating two ‘heart’ spaces surrounded by four classrooms. Pupils are briefed in the classrooms, and then can break into smaller groups using the class and the heart as their teaching environment. Each heart includes ICT space, a presentation space, a science space, a wet area, a resource area and small group spaces.

The school suffered from a lack of identity, particularly in the sense of arrival. The new forecourt encourages visitors onto the site, providing a pleasant and relaxed gathering space for parents.

With a dynamic headteacher at the helm, the school enthusiastically explored how to teach and learn in more appropriate ways in the 21st century, and the project won a BCSE Award in 2011.

Following this, we were appointed to build an extension so that the school could expand to three forms of entry. In a similar arrangement to the refurbishment, four generously-proportioned classrooms surround a central resource space fitted with a cooking kiosk. All classrooms have direct access to the outside for outdoor learning and to bring in natural light and ventilation. Clever zoning of security means that this new wing and other areas of the school can be opened independently for use out of hours by after-school clubs or the local community.

Awards

2011BCSE Awards

Details

ClientLondon Borough of Havering

Total value£1.15m (refurb); £1m (extension)

CompletionSeptember 2010; August 2014

Area1,583 m2

QSEC Harris; Fanshawe

ContractorLengard Ltd; Cumberland

StructureAKT II; Morgan Sindall

Building ServicesSkelly & Couch; Morgan Sindall

LandscapeHyland Edgar Driver (refurb)