This May, Ivydale Primary School opened a new building – inspired by a painting by children’s illustrator Julia Woolf.
Ms Woolf’s illustration is titled “The Fox in the Forest.”
The new building features green bricks and flashes of orange paint, representing the trees and the fox, respectively.
Besides being inspired by an illustration, the architects Adam Cossey and Shoko Kijima of Hawkins Brown created an innovative learning environment by designing a unique use of space.
The building centres around an atrium with a staircase that doubles as seating, meaning that there are more opportunities for children to learn outside of a classroom.
“This provides us with great space and flexibility,” Helen Ingham said. Ms Ingham is the Headteacher of Ivydale Primary School.
“Before the new addition, we had 550 children crammed into one building,” she continued. “Space was a big issue.”
Ivydale previously only consisted of one old Victorian building, but now the campus will have two buildings.
At the opening ceremony on May 24, Julia Woolf led workshops before presenting a signed copy of the illustration to members of the school council and Ms Ingham.
The children also showed Harriet Harman MP and local councillors Vicki Mills and Renata Hamvas around the school.
“The whole move has been a very positive experience for staff and for children,” Ms Ingham said. “The new building will also be able to provide a setting that is more grown-up.”
“This will provide an easier transition between primary school and secondary school for children.”