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New primary school building

Discussion in 'Primary' started by taddy, Apr 11, 2012.

  1. taddy

    taddy New commenter

    We may be having a new school built and all staff have been asked to contribute a wish list of what they would like the new buidling to have - things like layout , work space, classroom furniture, playground etc. pretty major stuff. I wondered if you had any dos and don'ts - I think shared open art areas are a nightmare in KS2 but I think a cookery room would be great. Someone mentioned a chill out room for children - do these work in practise? We are a rural school and do not have a large SEN so I don't know if this would be worthwhile?
     
  2. Msz

    Msz Established commenter

    Chill out rooms are great if you have staff to supervise them when required.
     
  3. taddy

    taddy New commenter

    Thanks - we are pretty small school so I can see that would be the spanner in the works.
     
  4. minnieminx

    minnieminx New commenter

    Definitely don't have the lovely idea of all classrooms/offices/etc radiating off the central hall. Sounds lovely in theory, but is a nightmare when trying to teach PE.

    Have all rooms much larger than you actually think you will need. The very biggest you can possibly afford will be a good guide.

    I wouldn't bother with a chill out room, unless you have lots of children who need it and it would be used and staffed permanently. Otherwise it just becomes a dumping ground.
     
  5. Our new build looked great on paper but is awful in real life! The rooms are tiny, with useless shared spaces in the corridors which are far too noisy and easily disturbed to be of any use. The best thing about it, for me, are the cloakrooms which are inside the class - much better than along a corridor, too far away from the classroom and the Yr R toilets, which are also part of the classroom (in a separate room, of course!). I don't know it that's only suitable for reception though? The older children's toilets are outside in the corridors.
     
  6. upsadaisy

    upsadaisy New commenter

    Have good storage floor to ceiling that is deep. A suitable area for reading books. A hard floor surface in all of Key Stage 1 big enough for sand, water, playdough etc. Smaller sized toilets from N to Year 2. An outdoor area for Key Stage 1, with built in shade.
     
  7. Earl Davids wife

    Earl Davids wife New commenter

    My last school had new classrooms built. The KS2 classrooms were OK but the KS1 classrooms intended for Y2 were awful. They were too small, minimal cupboard/storage space, no work surfaces because there were no low cupboards and hardly enough room to sit everyone on the carpet let alone any room for writing/book/role play areas. And.... the classrooms were airless having only one small window that opened onto the outside which was dreadful in summer when the sun shone.
    The best classroom I ever had was a (falling to bits) mobile classroom with no running water. I look back on it as sheer bliss. It wasn't open plan (like the rest of the school) and there was enough room for two carpetted areas, our very own painting/art tables and a writing corner. Bliss.
     
  8. hammie

    hammie Lead commenter

    my last schhool was a new build, the architect had previously designed prisons. And the school was exactly like the lifers' prison in the middle of Portsmouth (I had an interview therein so can confirm that!) just imagine teaching in slade prison (Porridge)
    The biggest thing is that the design will assume air conditioning but not fit it. So you will get tiny windows or large ones that do not open. So ventialtion ventialtion ventilation!
    The rooms will be designed to some formual that makes them too small unless you can get some visits in to other new build and provide evidence against. The other new build round here has wonderful corridoors and tiny rooms.
    Make sure they give you plenty of in class storage and display space. As the building will probably be privately owned you will be severely discouraged from blue taccing to the walls so you need maximum display space from the start.
    Make sure that you have alternative teaching provision to the electronic whiteboard, otherwise when it blows a bulb or breaks doown/loses focus you will have no teaching board at all.
    I too loved my mobile classroom, away from all the disruption, under a couple of trees in the corner of the grounds. No disruption from other children, too far away for visits from bored SMT. Warm enough in the winter and lovely and cool in the summer!
     
  9. Msz

    Msz Established commenter

    I agree architects design things for appearance not functionality we had a new building added andthe planners and architects were very puzzled when we told them the windows were very nice but we really needed a door to get in and out. Windows are a cheaper option apparently
     
  10. Oh, how I loved my mobile classroom! It went slightly downhill and everything toppled towards the back door but in the summer we had the best through breeze ever, with both doors open. We also used to sit and watch the woodpeckers in the grounds and Ofsted only found us once in their week-long visit! Just perfect!
     
  11. greta444

    greta444 New commenter


    Don't let them plan curved walls- a nightmare for display and sticking things on. I guess there'll be solar panels so have the kw counter somewhere acccessible for the children to use. Small rooms off the main classrom for group work and SEN support. cookery room sounds great but how often would it be used? Could it be multi-functional? Plenty of playground with things to climb on, a den making area, football area that is enclosed to teachers don't get walloped by a ball.
     
  12. taddy

    taddy New commenter

    Thanks - seems the biggest things are ventilation, size of classrooms, storage and windows. Other teaching friends have said blinds (so can actually see IWB when its sunny), wet area with no carpet and sink in classrooms, all storage units in class to be able to be moved around so more flexible, adjoining doors between classes, SENCo office (as a way of getting a SEN /focussed work room),, a 'music' room far away from classrooms for music lessons and access to the playground from each classroom so we can use the outside space as much as possible.
    This has been so helpful - I woudl have wanted a chill out room but can see it would have been a waste of time in reality. Thanks for all your posts - I will be contributing fully to the meeting!!
     

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