Pipworth Primary School Quadrant

 
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Pipworth Community School is a primary school in Sheffield catering for a wide range of pupils aged between 4 and 11. The school had an outdoor space which had become overgrown and was no longer usable by the staff and children. Green Estate Landscapes were asked to design and build an accessible outdoor teaching space that would reinvigorate the outdoor areas of the school.

The project started with a visit to the school by Jayne, one of our qualified Landscape Architects, to discuss the project with the school’s staff and complete a full site survey. Jayne then completed a wider consultation with both school staff as well as pupils to gain a deep understanding of the setting and the requirements of its users. It was important to both us and the school to make sure that the space worked well for all its potential users, and by listening to the opinions and experience of the full range of people involved in the space we were able to jointly develop a plan for a successful change in the use of the space.

The next step was the production of an outline design and vision plan for the space. A final consultation on these further refined what was needed and the result was a landscape design tailor-made to the schools particular setting. With our experience of working with school, we appreciate that consultation is an important part of the process, something that sets us apart from other landscaping companies.

The combination of a fresh pair of eyes provided by our consultation, with a deep understanding of the needs and expectations of the users of the space, allowed for great insight into the issues and opportunities to be gained. The experience we have gained from working in both primary and pre-school settings enabled us to appreciate how these complex environments work - for children, staff and parents - and how their needs can be considered in any new thinking about the site and how it is used. By having an overview on the situation, all the different strands of site opportunities and constraints, the needs of users and the budget available were be pulled together to create a scheme that really worked for this setting.

Once construction had begun we had a number of challenges to overcome. Access to the schools quadrant was a challenge as there was no direct route into the quadrant other than through the school building or over the roof. This was resolved by careful planning with school staff to allow smaller materials to be trolleyed through the school corridors once children were safely in their classrooms. Larger materials were then craned over the roofs into the quadrant space.

All existing materials were recycled and incorporated into the new design with use of logs and wood chips adding to natural play and existing stone used for walling. This ensured that no materials were wasted and reduced the need to trolley excessive waste materials through the school and saved considerable money for the school.

The staff were delighted with the new outdoor teaching space and enjoyed the use as a place to have lunch in good weather. Green Estate Landscaping went on to provide the maintenance ensuring the area was looking good at all times and the school was so happy that they commissioned us for further outdoor improvements for the school.

 
 
 
Dan Cornwell