Seven Stars Primary School

Seven Stars primary school has been a key part of the Leyland community for over 50 years serving several generations of pupils and their families. However, due to its age and poor condition, the existing school needed increasing investment from the School and Local Authority to run, maintain and to meet the latest educational requirements.

The project involved asbestos removal, the demolition of two existing, single-storey buildings and new build. The consolidation of accommodation helps encourage inclusivity and facilitate efficiency in delivering the curriculum. A rigorous construction and decanting phasing programme was developed with the School and Department for Education team, so that the school could remain operational throughout the construction period. Safety was our priority.

Although a large site, it wasn’t without its challenges. The School sits within Flood Zones 1, 2 and 3 – ensuring that all the children on the ground floor had direct access to recreation space without the need for steps or ramps, whilst considering flood risks and safe evacuation was an significant design driver. The design works with the existing levels, maintains the mature trees to the Peacock Road frontage and removed the existing buildings from the flood plain, improving the flood capacity.

The School is located in one of the most deprived parts of South Ribble so it was vital that the new school provided the conducive learning environments they deserved. Provision of a welcoming, calm, safe environment for all users was a imperative. SEND intervention and access to the mainstream classes was a priority. It is understood that approximately 80% of time will be spent in SEND and 20% in a mainstream classroom setting. Committee member Will Adams said that he believed the new school would have “an amazing impact” on current and future pupils, while fellow member Peter Mullineaux added that it could only “enhance” the local community; the planning application was unanimously approved.

Wildlife and biodiversity will be encouraged through the introduction of ornamental plant species that provide nectar sources for insects and berries/fruits for invertebrates and birds. The strategy will counteract any loss in open green space and leave biodiversity in a better state than provided by the existing natural habitat/ecological features. The landscaping design supports the School’s Outdoor Learning ethos to encourage childrens’ connection with nature and works in harmony with its natural surroundings to act as a physical as well as acoustic barrier.

The school will be one of the first 50 net carbon zero schools to be built by the Department for Education, with a focus on a fabric first approach to energy efficiency and energy cost reduction, alongside the use of air source heat pumps, natural daylight, and ventilation.

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