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Applying sustainable design to meet the diverse needs of a school community

Les Quennevais School

Les Quennevais School was required to provide modern teaching and learning spaces for up to 850 pupils in years seven to 11, together with a separate sports block, tennis courts, playing fields, all-weather pitch and public library, as well as soft landscaping, infrastructure services and drainage.

It's everything we’ve ever dreamed of. It is the realisation of a vision that we’ve had for learning and facilities, which shows students what an aspirational environment can feel like. It’s a very adult environment, we wanted it to feel like a university, we wanted to capture that imagination in the children’s future, and it’s got some amazing resources for them to access.

Sarah Hague

Head Teacher

The school needed to cater for both mainstream and pupils with special educational needs/disabilities, therefore it was crucial we developed the most inclusive designs possible.

Designs need to achieve a strong character and aesthetic, while at the same time providing a robust and durable building housing a modern, flexible learning environment.

Our strategy organised the new school in a finger block configuration to optimise orientation, with specially designed corridors allowing easy accommodation of wheelchair users.

The new facility provides an aspirational, inclusive and mature feel to the school, incorporating wide, dual-use corridors with breakout spaces, informal learning niches, flexible dining areas and an immersive space for presentations and performances. A state-of-the-art science faculty incorporates flexible partitioning for larger group learning and provides external learning decks for outdoor experiments.

Created with sustainability in mind, the school was rated BREEAM ‘Very Good’ with orientation, fenestration and solar shading designed using advanced daylight modelling to ensure maximum impact from natural light, supplemented by low energy LED lighting throughout.

As the school caters for a range of SEN pupils, it was crucial that we developed the most inclusive designs. As such, the building is organised in a fingerblock configuration to optimise orientation, and specially designed corridors allow easy accommodation of wheelchair users.

The local community is set to benefit from this significant development as well, with the main school building including a public library, and the community also have access to the Sport England standard pitches and running tracks.

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