Woolwich Polytechnic commission two storey Learning Escape

Woolwich Eco Classroom

We are very pleased to be working with Woolwich Polytechnic School for Boys in Thamesmead, Greenwich where construction of a brand new state-of-the-art, eight-classroom eco-building is nearing completion.


Despite government talk of standardization and template school architecture, the school wanted a creative, innovative solution to expanding its capacity on a tight budget - without resorting to bland designs or temporary buildings.


The building has been constructed using sustainable materials and features including sun pipes, air source heat pumps for space heating andsolar water systems.  Opening in March 2013, it will house the school’s Art department and provide additional rooms for other subjects, providing capacity for 210 pupils and eight staff.


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Alexa Rendell, Business Manager at Woolwich Polytechnic School for Boys, says: “With just under 1,400 pupils and our new post-16 provision, we were in urgent need of additional learning space and wanted to improve the quality of accommodation for our outstanding Art department.  Of course, in the current financial climate, budgets for our expansion plans were limited.  We have been saving school budget over the last couple of years to fund construction as we have not been given any kind of government grant or help.  We needed a cost-effective, flexible and sustainable solution to our lack of space but knew we wanted to think beyond temporary, pre-fabricated structures.  So we turned to the experts at The Learning Escape who recommended this exciting, stylish and economical eco-building.” 


Richard Harvey, co-founder of The Learning Escape, says: “This bespoke eco-building is going to be a wonderful addition to the life of this exceptional school and is undisputable proof that austerity measures needn’t constrain creative thinking when it comes to school design.  Not only will it provide much-needed learning space but it will enable pupils and staff to connect with nature in inspiring semi-outdoor surroundings.  Eco classrooms and learning spaces create a genuine link between children and the outdoor world, enabling freeflow learning, and bringing to life a sense of environmental citizenship.”   


Woolwich Polytechnic School for Boys is the first secondary school in the country to attain the Exceptional Schools Award and was awarded Outstanding status by Ofsted in 2011/12. We are also supporting a project working with year 9 Design & Technology students called Designing for Learning.


 The project allows students to explore design ideas for various learning spaces culminating in a presentation to a panel drawn from the poly and industry.