Redbrook Hayes School is a one-form-entry primary school with a nursery and branch library. Our design, based on the Exemplar Primary School proposed by Walters & Cohen for the Department for Education, responds well to its context, the client’s needs and input received from consultation with users of the building.
Key to the design was allowing the school and library to operate independently and run different opening hours, but work together so that pupils could access the library from the school. Community use of both facilities was also an important design driver. As a result, toilets and changing facilities are located off the hall to encourage community use. Thanks to an enthusiastic headteacher and a contractor who was experienced in working with schools, the staff and pupils participated in the design process and produced a short film about their love for the new school.
Prior to moving to its new building, league tables rated the school among the 5% lowest achieving in the UK, but it is now in the top 20%; the school is performing particularly well in terms of contextual ‘value added’. The headteacher attributes the design, and the design process, to influencing some of this success.
The school won an RIBA Award in 2007, and in the same year was shortlisted for the RIBA Schools Award in association with the Sorrell Foundation.