Replacing the Old Green Lane Junior School, Dewstow Primary and Nursery school is a new 210 place primary school, with a 30 place nursery. Monmouthshire County Council’s approach to education goes beyond the traditional classroom teaching style as the new primary curriculum aims to prepare young people by developing their skills and knowledge through a more interactive and experiential approach to learning. In consultation with school staff, pupils and governors they have decided that a ‘learning plaza’ approach will provide the best means of enriching pupil experience of the primary curriculum.
The learning plazas are flexible, open plan teaching environments, with a variety of activity spaces giving the children the opportunity to learn through a variety of different ways. The overall environment provides a technologically-rich learning, to support the teaching.
The new school is designed around a central courtyard and all plazas have direct access out to the main play area, and external landscaping. The learning resource area, nurture hub and hall all open out onto the central courtyard which acts as the heart of the school, as well as bringing natural light and ventilation deep into the plan.
The landscape design maximises the educational benefits of learning through landscape with dedicated habitat areas, informal soft and hard play, sports pitch, games court, science garden, outdoor classroom, orchard and food garden, community garden and ‘zen’ courtyard area. The landscape has been sensitively integrated into the site by retaining the large trees and supporting the existing habitats.