Oasis Academy

Everyone who comes to visit our school is impressed with the calm, light and spacious environment which has been created.

Adam Browne, associate principle

Introduction

Facing a growing pupil population, Croydon Council managed to double the intake at Oasis Academy Shirley Park with a new Sunesis building at its Stroud Green Campus.

Model

Dewey 2fe primary school and nursery

Budget

£5.42m

Framework

Scape Major Works

Construction

49 weeks

Project facts

4FE

school built increasing from 2FE

840

new places available compared to the previous 420

52

nursery places created

Doubling the size of the school

Due to the popularity of Oasis Academy Shirley Park, and the shortage of school places across the borough, Croydon Council required the school to expand from two to four forms of entry.

The project brief involved the construction of a new primary school and nursery on a site previously used for three storey and two storey care homes. The new school was to form the KS1 element of the existing Oasis Academy Shirley Park Primary School, expanding the school from a 2FE to a 4FE.

Creating the right learning environment

The school’s original building was not large enough to accommodate the growth required by the local authority, but the school and Croydon Council were determined to find a solution with a learning environment to meet the needs of the additional pupil intake.

Good security

Creating a secure environment was paramount so the new school was designed with a single buzzer controlled entry and exit point with a clear line of sight to the gate from the office, ensuring very good security measures are in place.

School over two sites

To meet such a significant demand for greater pupil place numbers, decisions needed to be taken as to how this requirement could be best met.

Because of the solution Sunesis provides, with a whole new school building, it was decided that the future of Oasis Academy Shirley Park would be best met with the school being situated across two sites.

The existing Long Lane site would remain but there would be a new site located in very close proximity, across the main road from the original building. As a totally new Sunesis Dewey was created on the new site this enabled the school to expand to four forms of entry across two locations.

Sunesis projects are delivered to minimise any impact on children’s learning while the new build is completed. Because the new Sunesis building was delivered on a new site there was no disruption at all to pupils’ learning.

Cost and time pressures

The London Borough of Croydon, as with many London boroughs, faced an urgent demand to create school places. With such challenges to budgets, and tight timescales for delivery, Sunesis was able to provide the needed delivery time and value for money solution.

Associate principal Adam Browne added that it had given him great confidence to work with construction industry professionals, who are very experienced at delivering high quality work to specification, to meet the needs of the school.

Colour scheme

The school had an existing colour scheme and wanted the new Sunesis building to be in keeping with this. Therefore, a fourth colour was created especially for the school outside of the three existing Sunesis shades.

Sense of pride from children, staff and parents

The new school building has been met with great positivity by all concerned.

“The children have settled in very quickly. Having their own new school building has encouraged them to take great pride in their learning environment,” said Adam Browne.

“I’m very impressed with the space and easy access for children. Staff like the glass walls creating light classrooms and also comment positively on having en suite children’s toilets. The classrooms are a consistent, square shape and the quality of the artificial light is high.

“The communal areas which lead off from the classrooms provide a useful space for interventions without needing to move children too far from their peers.”

Meeting the needs of a growing pupil population

The challenge of doubling the size of the school has been successfully met.

The new Dewey houses 360 pupils. Capacity for the entire primary school has increased from 420 to 840. There is also a 52-place nursery.

Croydon Council and Oasis Academy Shirley Park have played a significant role in meeting the requirements of the growing pupil population.

Single design team

The new school at the Stroud Green Campus was the first in a programme of four delivered across the borough. Therefore, Croydon Council could benefit from working with a single design team across all four projects.

Ongoing support

Regular ‘snagging’ meetings were held where any issues with the building works could be identified and resolved.

Daryl Weinert, site manager at Oasis Academy Shirley Park, said: “We found the people who attended to be professional and keen to address any issues in as speedy a manner as possible.

“On occasion since the snagging period ended we have needed to contact Willmott Dixon for support and have found them to be professional and timely in their response.”

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