Following completion of a contemporary offsite modular project in its historic grounds, pupils at the Sir John Moore C of E Primary School in Appleby Magna, Leicestershire, are enjoying lessons in a new state-of-the-art classroom.
Architectural and construction consultancy YMD Boon, who has offices in Market Harborough, provided architectural services, project management, clerk of works and contract administration on the project, which features an innovative design, respecting and reinforcing the significant heritage of the school.
Construction of the original primary school began in 1693. It opened its doors for the first time as a free school for boys in 1697. Sir Christopher Wren, one of the most highly acclaimed English architects in history, originally designed the school. It is now a Grade 1 Listed Building enhancing the picturesque village of Appleby Magna.
After YMD Boon successfully helped the school to secure funding, a scheme was put in place for the construction of a new educational classroom block last year. Following discussions with Conservation and Planning Officers from the Local Planning Authority, as well as Historic England, plans were submitted in September — the project was approved shortly afterwards. Works began in February of this year and an official opening took place in June.
The new building is now in use as a double classroom for Key Stage 1 children and has been designed with features that reflect the Grade 1 listed main building. It is also timber-clad to blend into the surrounding woodland and natural environment. The external materials represent the modern-day opportunities to provide a green, low maintenance solution.
The Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA) funded the project, with additional monies from Section 106 funding which arose out of recent new housing development in the village.
Jonathan Warren, Director at YMD Boon, said: “This has been a thoroughly exciting project and we’ve been proud to work on the development for the school. The school has a rich heritage and is an iconic building in the heart of Appleby Magna. To research into the history and take the existing building and context into consideration when looking at the design of the project was stimulating and rewarding for the project team.
“We are really pleased with the much-needed facility, which has been delivered to support local education and how the design married the contemporary and the historic. It’s wonderful to see the students enjoying and thriving in their new classroom.”
Tae Carpenter, Headteacher at Sir John Moore C of E Primary School, added: “As our school is steeped in so much history, this modern-day build has been the first of its kind. Our school has been an educational setting, to be proud of, for over 320 years. This new space allows the school and its pupils to continue to proudly grow and learn, providing the facilities, resources and learning spaces needed to equip SJM pupils for now and beyond.
“We are so pleased to be able to continue Sir John Moore’s vision and legacy of providing education for all, with The Lodge and extremely delighted at how well our pupils have settled in.”