Rogiet Primary School, Monmouthshire
The school site is located near the M4, M48, and a railway, but good acoustic design has ensured that these outside noises are not able to distract pupils inside the school building.
Careful consideration has also been given to the interior of the school, so that noise from corridors and neighbouring classrooms does not carry through to other areas of the school. As a result, pupils are not distracted by background noise and teachers do not have to strain their voices to be heard.
While the good acoustics are beneficial to everyone within the school, the quiet environment has also made the school more inclusive of pupils with a hearing loss. Bearing in mind that the school is a mainstream primary school, the good acoustic environment will be of particular benefit to the many children who experience temporary deafness. It is estimated that 80% of all children will experience at least one episode of glue ear before they reach the age of 8.
The reduction in background noise levels will also make the school a much more accessible and comfortable listening environment for hearing aid/radio aid/cochlear implant users who may enrol at the school. Indeed, 99% of deaf pupils in Wales currently attend mainstream schools.
Furthermore, research demonstrates that good acoustics will provide a more accessible learning environment for autistic pupils.
Headteacher, Kathryn Evans, said: “There was an echo in the old school building and you could always hear the hum of the motorway outside, but there’s nothing like that now. Our new building is very quiet, and it’s had a big impact on the children – they are so calm.
“The reduced background noise means that it is much easier for children – whether they are in the classrooms, our group rooms, or in the library - to focus on their lessons and work without any distractions.”
In order to achieve a good acoustic environment, acousticians were consulted from the design phase of the project and, following completion of the project, acoustic testing ensured compliance with the acoustic standards outlined within Building Bulletin 93.
The acoustic standard at Rogiet Primary was achieved as a result of carefully considering the acoustics from the design phase throughout the project. At the start of the project, a noise survey was conducted onsite and consideration was given to the positioning of the school building in order to minimise the impact of noise from the nearby train line and roads.
Acousticians worked closely with the architects throughout the project and a number of measures were taken to secure a good acoustic environment. For example, careful consideration of cross ventilation and a BMS system controlling window openings was used to meet the ventilation requirements of BB101 without the need for wide window openings, helping to ensure that children within the school building are not disrupted by outside noise.
Acoustically rated, solid core doors were also utilised with acoustic seals on all four sides, in order to help ensure that noise does not travel between rooms.
Following completion of the project, acoustic testing ensured compliance with the acoustic standards outlined within Building Bulletin 93.
For further information or to enquire about a visit to the school, please contact Kathryn Evans, Headteacher (01291 420348)