Design Projects

Ashmole Primary School and Nursery

With Greenhill Jenner Architects

Project overview

This was the refurbishment and extension of a one-form entry primary school in South London to accommodate a new nursery and children’s centre. Although it started out as a project focused on the creation of a foundation unit, our collaborative and strategic approach pushed the brief and the budget to include a new entrance, staff facilities and a learning resource centre. We worked closely with the students and staff to ensure that the design met their needs and ambitions, and we continue to re-visit the school to see how the building has evolved since the project was completed in 2006.

Ashmole Primary School and Nursery has been the subject of internationally-recognised research conducted by Alison Clark of Thomas Coram Research Unit at the Institute of Education (University of London) into designing with young people. We used the Mosaic Approach to engage with and to learn from the young students, informing the final design. This research helped us to make a place for learning that both students and staff are proud of and truly involved in, and became a method for evaluating the success of the design once the building was completed. We recently revisited the students (now in Year 6) from the original study and learned how this experience has become an important part of their early memories of school. We also met with the teachers to learn how the study has influenced the way that they use the building as a tool for teaching.

"The design process was influenced by putting the children’s learning at the heart of everything we did, resulting in a space that truly changed the way the school worked. The project was a success on every level."

John Parr
Headteacher
Ashmole Primary School and Nursery

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