Sandringham Primary School

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  • Transformation of featureless tarmac school grounds.
  • Creative designs for zoned play areas.
  • Phased development over 10-year period.
  • Innovative use of building structure to extend available space.
  • 2018 RIBA London Regional Award winning project.

Sandringham Primary School, in the London Borough of Newham, has over 900 pupils from a wide range of ethnic backgrounds. The main building is a Victorian Board of Education design seen all over London, set in what by modern standards are very small grounds for its size.

When we first started to work with the school nearly 10 years ago their grounds were a largely featureless macadam space. We have succeeded in transforming them with a series of planned developments into a stimulating and varied work and play environment.

The school have always been clear about their vision to improve the grounds and their desire for original creative designs. We first developed a landscape masterplan, showing zoned play areas for different age groups with space for active play, quiet play and story-telling as well as for organised sports.We then developed and refined the details and implemented the landscaping developments over four phases of building work.

Our designs drew positives out of the location by making the best use of the available space. In the early years’ playground, for example, play and learning equipment was fixed to the walls, extending the space upwards. In another zone a small play theatre was created by using a corner between the school walls, and in another area a water play feature and storage butt were attached to the walls. We made the sports ground multi-purpose with a covered mini-grandstand which can also be used for outside teaching.

Each of the areas we created has a different characteristic, creating a vibrant feel around the school and we have enjoyed seeing how our work has contributed to the positive atmosphere of the school over the years. This has continued with our latest project for a new sensory nursery play area which won a RIBA London Regional Award in 2018.

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