An extraordinary new space to cope with a huge growth in pupil numbers

Written by: The Learning Escape | Published:

As the demand for new school places continues to grow, The Learning Escape is offering beautiful, high-quality and cost-effective solutions for schools looking to expand their classroom space.

Between 2001 and 2011, England experienced the fastest rise in the birth rate since the 1950s, resulting in rising demand for primary school places over the last four years.

Recently released statistics predict that an extra 900,000 new school places will be needed over the next decade, with almost 1 in 5 primary schools already operating at, or above, maximum capacity. Predicting where these baby boomers will end up starting, and completing, their education is a tough call, but those of you on the ground have probably got a good feel for what is coming your way.

Clearly, funding so far has been inadequate to provide space for the growing pupil numbers, but as the shortage exacerbates the overcrowding problem, more funds must be made available. If you are currently experiencing excess demand for places and are fortunate enough to have secured funding to extend your classroom facilities, it is worth considering a building that can enhance the educational experience of your pupils.

Often less expensive, less intrusive and much faster to build, a modular classroom does not need to be an unsightly, uncomfortable, metal block craned into the most accessible, though not necessarily most convenient, site. Instead, you could invest in a beautiful eco-classroom that can be quickly and cleanly erected in an optimal position in the school grounds; is energy efficient to run and provides a fantastic teaching and learning environment. Furthermore, the modular construction process means that future expansion is easily accommodated.

The Learning Escape have carefully designed their modular classrooms to maximise the penetration of natural light, which is known to improve behaviour and concentration in pupils and to make a positive contribution towards children achieving their full potential. The use of sustainable, natural materials and full-length windows and bi-folding doors, create an interior space that is brilliantly lit and seamlessly creates a connection with nature and the outside. Calming and inspiring in equal measure, their eco-classrooms naturally stimulate an interest in environmentalism and a desire to take the learning experience outdoors.

One of their customers, Hartsholme Academy, has been on an incredible journey the last few years. In July 2011, this inner city school became the first in Britain to move from an Ofsted category of special measures to outstanding in less than two years. In 2012, the school moved into a new state of the art building and has gone from strength to strength as both an educational establishment and a hub of local community activity. As pupil numbers and community involvement swelled, Hartsholme Academy quickly reached full capacity and, less than two years later, urgently needed more classroom space.

Among the many innovative teaching methods that they employed to execute the transformation, they have been active proponents of outside learning and all of the classrooms in the new building have direct access to their own outdoor play space.

The school wanted the new classroom to be built in the centre of an environmental maze in order to promote wildlife education for the pupils and they wanted it as quickly as possible once the funding was secured. As the building was just the first in a two-stage project, they also wanted it to be easily extendable as and when fresh funding becomes available.

They felt that The Learning Escape offered an exceptionally high-quality building that fitted beautifully within the chosen, outside setting, and had the added advantage of being quick and easy to install.

Fiona Abbot, the academy's business manager, said: "We got some fantastic extra classroom space quickly and, with all the hard work of planning the project completed for us, our incredibly hardworking staff were left to get on with the job of teaching the pupils."

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