Sandal Magna Community Primary: ‘School of the future’

TUCK IN: Pupils enjoying the eco-friendly surroundings at Sandal Magna Community Primary School.

TUCK IN: Pupils enjoying the eco-friendly surroundings at Sandal Magna Community Primary School.

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One of the greenest schools in the country has been showered with awards for its cutting edge design.

Pupils at Sandal Magna Community Primary School in Wakefield no longer have to study in a draughty, dilapidated Victorian building.

The old school has been demolished and youngsters are now taught in a class leading eco-friendly building, which opened last September.

Wakefield Council chiefs, who commissioned the project, say it is one of the most carbon-efficent schools in the UK.

Last week new school won three architectural honours at The Royal Institute of British Architects Northern Network Awards ceremony held in Newcastle.

It was awarded the Northern Network Gold award; the Category award for sustainability; and Project of the Year White Rose Award.

The new school was designed by Sarah Wigglesworth Architects, in partnership with NPS Group.

The school and local community were widely consulted in the design of the new building, which is inspired by its surroundings and Wakefield’s industrial heritage.

The design reflects the neighbouring red brick houses and factory chimneys.

Brick and timber are used alongside materials such as corrugated rainscreens and weatherboarding to provide interesting forms, shapes and textures.

Inside, the school is spacious and colourful, with flexible learning spaces and ventilation and rainwater collection systems on display to be used as part of active learning.

Outside, reclaimed bricks from the old school are used in retaining walls and garden features. And and a set of allotments have also been laid for use by pupils.

The design team also worked with the school to develop a landscape strategy maximising outdoor play spaces including areas for learning, planting, quiet zones games.

Coun Olivia Rowley of Wakefield Council said: “Sandal Magna truly is a school of the future and I’m delighted that it continues to be recognised for its innovative and inspiring design.”

Christopher Lillington, assistant headteacher at Prince Henry's Grammar School.

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