Enhancements to the External Areas and Social Spaces
- Removal Of Poor Condition Mobile Classrooms
- New Street Scene And External Auditorium
- New Canopies To Extend Use Of External Spaces
There are various mobile classrooms on the Redworth and the Sixth form site. These temporary buildings were brought in to help the College manage periods of rapid growth, but they have remained in situ and the College continues to use them even though they are in poor condition and are not considered conducive to excellent teaching and learning. The mobiles have a limited lifespan, provide only a basic teaching layout, and often have problems with heating and ventilation. They are standalone ‘buildings’ with no opportunity to create curriculum hubs or zones and whilst they can address an immediate need they are not a preferred long-term solution. In the latest condition report carried out in 2020 many of the mobiles were noted as being in a ‘tired condition’ with several condition issues flagged up for addressing within the next 12 months and many of the mobiles have been highlighted as requiring ‘comprehensive refurbishment to preserve the integrity of the structure’. Other issues identified include failing roofs, expired cladding, rotting timber frames, and health & safety risks from broken flooring causing trip hazards and defective entrance doors which are warped or snag the floor making them difficult to open which could pose an issue in the event of a fire.
In the past, the College has evolved to meet demand, often in an ad hoc manner which has resulted in a lack of cohesion across the site. Mobile classrooms have been placed in areas where space has been easily available often impacting on the access through the site, creating areas that are difficult to supervise and leading to the loss of external social and play space for pupils. The proposal is to remove all the mobile classrooms which will significantly enhance the external space and openness of the site.
The importance of external recreational spaces for pupil wellbeing and behaviour is well documented by the DfE and currently, the external social area for pupils is below the recommendations for a school of this size. The removal of the mobiles provides the College with an opportunity to address this shortfall and create new recreational areas that are both stimulating and easier to supervise.
Following the removal of the mobiles, the Governing Body proposes to re-assess the external areas and invest in landscaping the space. The vision is to provide a new external auditorium for outside teaching and performance as well as a tree-lined avenue/street space with shade and seating. The Spatial Framework Design indicates the areas that can be improved:
12. New external area landscaped to create high-quality social spaces for students including pocket parks, conservation zones, formal and informal seating, and areas of shade with new trees - consider larger canopied areas for shelter throughout the year (rain & sun).
13. Auditorium-style seating to provide opportunities for external teaching.
The images below indicate how this area might look:
“The site currently lacks high-quality social spaces and this limits what students can do and where they can go during their social time particularly during cold or wet weather, by opening up the space on site currently used by mobile classrooms we will be able to develop some inspirational social spaces for the students to enjoy in use.
This has amazing potential to support the students' health and wellbeing and provide them with inspiring spaces to enjoy and value.”