The UK Primary School Leading the Way



university school cambridge

Hailed as a “beacon of excellence having both national and international influence”, the University of Cambridge Primary School is set to be both a demonstration of cutting edge architectural design, and the first primary to open as one of the government’s flagship university training schools.

Forget what you think you know about schools, this high-end primary educational institution is just part of a 150-hectare £1billion development, serving the local community and doubling up as a state of the art research and teacher training facility.

Brought to us by the same people responsible for The London Eye, the vision was simple; to create a free school where learning wasn’t seen as a competitive sport that only a few could succeed at, rather a democratic system where every voice matters.

This ideology led to a single storey circular design, which is non-hierarchical and fully inclusive. Clusters of classrooms are brought together to form the unifying central courtyard, where every classroom has been conveniently designed to open directly onto the covered outdoor space.

The space-age design, a fusion of brick and glass, features articulated classrooms organised along light filled, double-sided ‘learning streets’ suitable for a whole range of learning activities. Characterised by having no doors to encourage communication between teachers and researchers, the rooms are suitable for individual, small group, and larger group learning.

Not just a hub for the very latest in learning theory, collaboration with emerging artist Ruth Chapman has led to one of the developments most out-of-this-world features, ‘Under The Same Sky’. The concept, involved people from all over the world who took photographs of the sky at a certain point in time, with the end result being displayed on the glazed cloister that runs around the courtyard.

Praised by the school head teacher as a “beautiful and inspirational” learning environment, the zero carbon school is due to open in September of this year, and quite frankly, we cannot wait to see some pictures of the finished product.

Photograph: Marks Barfield Architects

Posted April 14, 2015

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