Bridgewater Builds Schools For The Future
30 Nov 2007
Innovative new schools from the UK and the Netherlands are theinspiration for Somerset County Council’s Building Schools for theFuture programme, which sets out to transform secondary schools in theBridgewater area.
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Innovative new schools from the UK and the Netherlands are the inspiration for Somerset County Council’s Building Schools for the Future programme, which sets out to transform secondary schools in the Bridgewater area.
The programme will create 4,000 places for new pupils at secondary school, allowing them access to the latest technology within a high calibre learning environment. The £90 million pound investment, funded by the Department for Children, Schools and Families, will rebuild the town’s four secondary schools and two special schools.
To gain an insight into the potential available, the project team, including Headteachers from the six schools, researched examples of environments that cater for different learning needs. In October, the team visited Bristol Metropolitan College, which has been designed around the concept of a main street connecting learning cluster’ areas. The light and space of the environment provides a versatile hub for the many aspects of student life.
In the Netherlands, the group observed how classroom space is being developed with systems to meet the needs of all students. One case in point is In-Holland University, in Haarlem, which has internal walls that adjust to modify the size and shape of each room.
Julia Ridge, Somerset County Council’s Building Schools for the Future Programme Director, said:’ The visits gave the project team and Bridgwater schools an opportunity to experience the cutting edge of school building developments. The trip reinforces the need to design Bridgwater’s new schools with the flexibility to change over time as the needs of the schools change.’
Cllr Gloria Cawood, Somerset County Council’s Portfolio Holder for Education, said: ‘The Building Schools for the future project is an opportunity to transform Bridgewater’s learning environments. This is part of our commitment to providing dynamic modern facilities to create a vibrant working and learning community while raising achievement for all learners.’
The first phase of construction in Bridgewater is scheduled for 2011 and is the first step towards realising Somerset County Council’s vision for secondary schools in the programme, schools for the future.
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Photo 1: Bristol Metropolitan College — View of spacious central street arrangement used for flexible learning spaces.
Photo 2: In-Holland University, Netherlands — Reception and Communal Areas used for informal group activities and socialising.
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