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Victorian primary school brought into the 21st century

Education and community partnerships have transformed Belham Primary School by creating new teaching spaces and facilities

Posted by Lucinda Reid | March 25, 2018 | Bricks & mortar

Southwark Council, Morgan Sindall, Haverstock Architects, English Heritage and Belham Primary School have worked together to transform Grade II Listed Old Bellenden Primary school into the new, state-of-the art Belham Primary School site.

Funded by the Education Standards and Funding Agency (ESFA) and Southwark Council, this former community building has been sensitively remodelled and expanded ready to welcome 420 children from the surrounding area.

Conservation and sustainable design were at the forefront of developing the new Belham Primary School. Southwark Council worked closely with the architects to achieve a high quality renovation that was still sympathetic to original features. The wider community were also invited to consultation events.

Although all involved were keen to retain the history of the school, the building also needed to be fit for the future. The contemporary perforated corten steel extension complements the original Victorian building but also clearly distinguishes it as a modern addition.

The extension is home to the new sports hall, dining facilities and smaller hall spaces, which can also be used for community activities. The existing building has been refurbished to provide high quality teaching spaces and facilities including a large music room, design and technology workshop and interactive creative spaces.

Outdoor area provides children with space to play grow plants and observe nature. Staff and pupils can now make the most of outdoor learning thanks to the addition of new terraces.

Cllr Victoria Mills, Cabinet Member for Children and Schools, said: “This has been a really exciting project that has transformed this local landmark into a state-of-the-art primary school.  This school represents the commitment of the council, the contractors, the architects and the school to create something unique. Just by looking at the school you can see the attention to detail and thought that has gone into making this building what it is. This is an inspiring learning environment that both the children who study here and the local community can enjoy.”

Executive Headteacher, Sonia Case, added: "This amazing school has been brought back to life by the imagination and hard work of so many working together, and it will serve the local community for many years to come. I am touring over 150 parents around the spaces, and there is a unanimous delight in what has been created. Education and community have been brought together, as has the best of new and old designs."    

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