A new approach to educational thinking has been incorporated in the Castle Park Primary School extension: a learning plaza for 60 students, designed by White Design for Monmouthshire County Council.
The Learning Plaza is a flexible and technologically rich learning environment for a combined group of Year 5 and 6 children. The open-plan nature of the Plaza increases the school’s ability to adapt this space over time to the requirements of new national strategies as they come on stream as well as to new approaches to learning and teaching as they are developed by Castle Park School and Monmouthshire County Council.
The building design adopts a ‘passive first’ approach to sustainability. In essence, the building fabric acts as a moderator of the external climate with the heating, ventilation and lighting installations dealing with the reduced demands of the moderated internal climate. The building is highly insulated with 26 ModCell panels, selected for their excellent insulation values, and airtightness properties. ModCell has the added advantage of being a prefabricated approach which enabled a quick, efficient and relatively noise-free construction period, allowing the rest of the school to continue to operate as normal throughout the build. The panels themselves, constructed at the flying factory less than 5 miles away from the school and using Monmouthshire straw, only took 1 week to erect on site, fitting neatly into the february half term.