Teachers and pupils at a Northamptonshire school are excited to start the academic year in new and modern classroom facilities thanks to the arrival of a sustainable timber framed building.

Leading joinery manufacturer, Scotts of Thrapston, were approached by the 210-pupil Weldon Church of England Primary School following an enquiry for a new classroom by the headteacher Lynne Wildman who was looking to replace an old inefficient and ineffective mobile classroom building.

She explains: “We had been looking for years for a solution to the problem of an old mobile classroom that was being used for classes of our Key Stage 2 children. I discovered Scotts when I was looking through one of their fliers after it was placed on my desk.

“Scotts’ modern and efficient standalone classroom structures seemed to be the perfect answer to replace our dilapidated building. From the very first contact I made with the company they have been responsive and easy to work with coming up with a bespoke solution to meet our needs and providing a fantastic environment for our children to learn in.”

Scotts, who have been making and distributing timber products since 1920, first started creating education buildings in 2014 and like the rest of the company’s projects, Weldon Primary School’s new classroom was constructed and ready for use in a matter of weeks.

Mrs Wildman was delighted with the completed classroom, commenting: “The old building was small, cramped and had no running water. The end result is amazing, better than we could have imagined. It’s just so airy, bright and the children will love learning in there.”

An education in timber frame

Scotts offers a core range of education buildings but more often than not, provides bespoke solutions to meet its customers’ individual needs. Each of the designs, including the one at Weldon CE Primary School, are ideal learning environments as well as being environmentally friendly.

The buildings are designed with plenty of windows, allowing in lots of natural light, saving on electricity bills and allowing for plenty of ventilation when opened making it more pleasant to be indoors.

Philip Goldstone, Scotts of Thrapston’s business development manager, explains how the company perfectly combines traditional craftsmanship with the latest technology. He said: “Ultimately our education buildings are designed to make the best use of the space available and to provide optimum energy efficiency.

“We believe that the ideal learning environment begins with a building that inspires and motivates by its architectural form. To achieve their full potential, pupils need to feel comfortable in their environment and research has shown that acoustic conditions can have a profound impact on both children’s learning and staff performance. The feedback we have had from the pupils and the teachers who have used the new classroom is that they all enjoy their new environment.

“The Scotts design service takes into account all elements of the building design including light, ventilation, thermal comfort and acoustics. The right amount of light, both artificial and natural, is crucial. We advise on door and window positions based on a building’s orientation – avoiding light from south facing walls which can result in uncomfortable solar gain in summer and western aspects which can lead to unpleasant glare on winter afternoons.

“Space is also a huge consideration and a stand out feature of Scotts’ education buildings is the high ceilings that provide a feeling of spaciousness.

“The beauty of Scotts’ education buildings is that they can be completely tailored to suit the setting and are designed to precisely meet the end user’s specification. As well as the classroom the buildings include a lobby, cloakroom, washroom and store and we can also cater for any special needs requirements, accessibility issues or existing structures that need to be taken into consideration.”

Inspirational structure

As an added benefit, children are able to see the new building take shape. Pupils at Weldon CE Primary School took an interest in the construction of their new building and although there was a fence put up around the site, the structure remained visible so that the children could watch its progress. Some of the children have been so inspired they are considering careers in building and architecture when they grow up.

Offering a range of highly affordable and versatile sizes and shapes, Scotts of Thrapston can provide a multitude of products for any school looking for either a refurbishment or an extension on existing buildings. With affordable pricing and quick-build times, it really is the perfect option for any school looking for a change.

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