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The central atrium at Consett Academy

Consett Academy campus provides new vision for education

A state of the art academy campus aims to be leading provider in the North East

Posted by Stephanie Broad | December 16, 2015 | Bricks & mortar

The Consett Academy campus, which forms part of Durham County Council’s £44m redevelopment project in Consett, sets new standards in learning reflecting the academy’s ambition to be the leading provider of education in the area. 

Consett Academy was established in 2012 from the amalgamation of two schools, Consett Community Sports College and Moorside Community Technology College. The academy operated across the two sites of the schools until this September, when students aged 11 to 19 were welcomed to the new campus in the heart of Consett. 

Seymour Harris Architecture designed the new building, which is located on the site of the town’s former football ground. Based on the key concepts of inspiration, creativity and innovation, the bold design of the new facility encompasses a wide and modern curriculum providing an environment that allows each student to excel, whether in academic endeavours, work-centred learning, sport or the arts.

The campus features a host of facilities to promote the best quality learning experience for students. These include contemporary learning areas such as bespoke science laboratories/studios, technical areas and a cutting edge design and research area to enhance the curriculum experience for all students. The facilities are supported by a range of digital technologies and an IT-rich environment.

The new Innovation Zone mixes science, technology, engineering and maths with X-boxes linked into teaching and learning environment to enable hands-free and voice commands to activate.

The Nucleus, a cocoon-like space, features state of the art IT and audio visual equipment for a fully immersive 3D learning experience incorporating vision, sound, light, smell, vibrations and temperature – perfect for bringing volcanoes, rainforests or WW1 trenches to life.  

In addition to a spacious central atrium, which provides a space to relax at break and lunchtimes, all learning spaces have been considered for the best possible orientation to maximise natural light and are naturally ventilated wherever possible.

The new campus also provides unrivalled sporting facilities with a full size artificial 4G rugby pitch, squash courts, dance studio and two swimming pools. The school runs more than 40 clubs, teams and activities which range from the rugby, cricket and netball to sign language, Future Business Magnates and the Duke of Edinburgh Award.

“The facilities and resources at the new Consett Academy building are truly exceptional. Students can study and learn in an environment which is inspiring and which can help to bring lessons to life in a really exciting way,” says Cllr Ossie Johnson, cabinet member for children and young people at Durham County Council. 

The academy shares the new building with the Consett Leisure Centre, which launched at the site this summer. Being coupled with the new leisure centre means the new campus has already enhanced the academy’s education provision with wider opportunities for engagement is sport.

 As a truly shared building, the leisure centre and academy have their own distinct main entrances at either end of the building, while internally they are separated by secure lockdown doors. Sharing and flexibility of use were key parameters for the project and fundamental drivers for the layout and security lines. While the public and academy students and staff use the building concurrently, they are separated at all times. 

This inspiring new building has helped to create a new vision for secondary education in Consett, says Kevin Reynolds, principal of Consett Academy.

“I think we now have the very best accommodation, teaching facilities and equipment of any school in the North East. I am sure students will feel inspired and be prepared to push the boundaries of achievement in terms of their learning.”



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