Ffynnonbedr Primary School
The main nature of the project: to provide a new primary school for pupils aged from 3 to 11 with a range of external spaces including informal and formal play and games areas, an enclosed games court, car parking and extensive landscaping.
Exemplar features: flexible main hall, studio teaching space and centrally located resource /library space; well lit and naturally ventilated teaching spaces throughout; naturally lit and attractive circulation spaces; external covered (translucent) play spaces; extensive wildlife habitat area used for educational purposes
Best practice /innovative processes & procedures: purpose designed foundation phase teaching areas, extensive linkage options between teaching spaces to give flexibility in class sizes to suit educational requirements; special provision for pupils with disabilities; use of under floor heating throughout the school; quiet areas for special needs teaching on site; specialist teaching areas for music & drama teaching; full rainwater harvesting system installed.
The school opened in September 2007 and has been well received by pupils, parents, staff and governors. It has met its capacity and has attracted pupils from a wide catchment area. All the spaces in the school are well used, demonstrating the flexibility of the design approach and the successful extensive use of natural lighting and ventilation wherever practicable. The gas sourced under floor heating system has proved to be efficient and straightforward to run. The landscaping of the site is now developing well and the linking of the school to the adjacent secondary school site to form a new 3 to 19 school has been a natural progression of the previously completed work.
The site, chosen after extensive consultation with client officers and planning officers, is in a rural location on the edge of the existing settlement of Lampeter. The location of the school building and of the external facilities provided was carefully planned to avoid possible risk of future flooding and there was considerable consultation with the Environment Agency on this matter at design stage.
Future maintenance surveys will be regularly required to monitor the performance of the external fabric and the building services installations.
Extensive consultation was carried out from inception to completion of the project with the LEA and its specialist advisers on foundation phase and special needs, with the head teacher of the existing school and his staff, governors and pupils.
The success of this new school has helped lead to the development of a 3 to 19 school campus covering an extensive site on the edge of Lampeter with close links to the local community and the University of Trinity St Davids. It has also promoted a development strategy for new area primary schools in Ceredigion with the result that a number of similar projects are now being developed through design stage to serve local communities across the county. The building typology used in the new Ffynonbedr primary school has proved to be adaptable to a range of different sites and modified briefs.
Early involvement through the LEA of school staff, parents, governors and pupils to ensure constructive consultation was shown to be of considerable value in the design of this school. Systematic option analysis for matters such as selection of the site and choice of alternative heating and energy efficiency methods also proved very worthwhile.