English Classroom Block at Ratcliffe College – Project of the Year, MMC Awards 2023
Ratcliffe College have a growing roll putting pressure on their existing space. They decided to commission a new build to sit towards the front of the school and act as a showpiece at the entrance. The new block would accommodate the whole English department, one of the largest in the school, providing more suitable accommodation than before.
Ratcliffe selected TG Escapes panelised modular system designed by our in-house architects. This modular approach saved time and reduced costs versus more traditional construction solutions. It also meant that the build site could be self-contained maintaining educational continuity for the school and allowing for deliveries to site to be managed efficiently.
The building includes 10 classrooms, a staff room and ancillary spaces. It has a full-height atrium with rooflights, a large PV array and sedum roof. The build time onsite was just 28 weeks including demolition and enabling works for the 925m2 project.
We asked Head of English, Luanda Stannard about her new building and how it is performing in use.
“During the construction, students were joking ‘it’s only wood, careful not to blow it down but it created a lot of interest with staff and students. I don’t think anybody realised what it would be like until it was finished. So initial perceptions were a little sceptical and then people realised it looked really good.
Teaching staff are really enjoying the space in the rooms. We’ve got a lot more space to configure the desks as we want and it’s easier to walk around the room. We like the brightness. To teach in, they are extremely fit for purpose and having smart new rooms is quite exciting for the students as well.
It has all been received very well by parents and staff from other departments with comments like ‘Wow! This is amazing.’ Because it is the best building in the school. The most impressive building. The wall art particularly and the atrium area are fabulous. Very positive responses.
I think that there is a difference in attitude working in an environment that is good for learning. I can certainly see that because they have got the space, the light. It is a little bit early to tell but, because it’s not crowded and they’re not on top of each other, I would say that certainly in behavioural terms in the classes themselves there has been a positive influence.
Overall, it is a massively positive building and it is a positive experience to work and learn in it.”
Estates Manager Michael Bush feedback stated that it was the professionalism and product delivery which made TG Escapes stand out from other providers. The biggest benefit is having fit-for-purpose classrooms in a great-looking environment.