After a significant 15% rise in the roll of Bickley Park, predominantly concentrated in the pre-prep age range, the school needed to create 3 new classrooms offering a huge amount of learning space, inside and out. Patrick Wenham, Bickley Park’s headmaster, firmly believes that boys tend to be kinaesthetic learners and need plenty of space and opportunity for hands on learning experiences.
Sam Patel, the school’s Director of School Development, wanted a space that was light, airy and modern with a strong set of eco-credentials and was delighted with the range of eco-friendly options offered by TG Escapes: he took advantage of nearly all of them. The new nursery block boasts a sedum roof, to reduce rainwater run-off, together with sun pipes which fill the rooms with natural daylight and minimise the use of artificial lighting. All the services and appliances are A+ rated and the building also incorporates solar panels to heat the water.
The end result, according to Mr Wenham, is a fantastic new nursery that aligns very much with the school’s vision to be a world class preparatory school for boys. The school was delighted to open the new building welcoming to the event both the Mayor of Bromley and Chris Hollins, BBC presenter and former Bickley Park pupil. Bickley now have a second TG Escapes classroom block for older years.
1.Why did you want to develop an outdoor learning space?
We wanted to create an outstanding learning space for our younger children that was bright, airy and a significant improvement on their current classrooms.
2.What made The Learning Escape stand out from other providers?
The quality of the finish and eco-credentials were very important to us. We also wanted to establish a long term relationship with a company that we felt understood our aims and would provide a high standard of service.
3.What are the biggest benefits you’ve noticed for the pupils and your school?
The nursery building has been a fantastic addition to our Pre-Prep site, utilising a space that was previously occupied by a less attractive school cottage. Both children and staff love learning and working in the building due to the amount of natural light and space. Free flow access to a covered deck is a huge advantage so that outdoor learning can take place in all weathers.
4.How did you find working with The Learning Escape overall?
As with any project there will always be bumps along the way, but I can say that Learning Escape is an excellent company to work with. Karl and his team were quick to resolve any issues/concerns and despite the very aggressive deadline, the project was completed on time and budget.
Natural playground design and installation by Infinite Playgrounds – read more at www.infiniteplaygrounds.co.uk