LAAT invests in new eco-friendly classroom for local school

Lincoln Anglican Academy Trust has invested over £180,000 in a new classroom for one of its thriving primary schools. Sustainable design is at the heart of the new environmentally-friendly classroom and outdoor play area for Reception pupils at Whaplode C of E Primary School, Spalding. The classroom was designed and built by Eco-classrooms of Norwich which specialises in modular school buildings in renewable timber with high quality specifications and superb energy efficiency levels.

According to the Clever Classrooms study by Salford University, the design of a classroom at primary school level can boost learning progress by up to 16% in a single year. With this research in mind, Whaplode School’s new eco-classroom has been purposed-designed to create a comfortable and effective learning environment. The bespoke layout incorporates dedicated areas for key elements of the Early Years curriculum including literacy, numeracy, ICT, role play and a reading corner.

As part of its green credentials, the new classroom includes LED lighting systems and large windows and doors with low-e glass to reduce solar gain. Trickle ventilators optimise the airflow, while the use of ‘sun tubes’ in the roof maximises natural light sources wherever possible to reduce electricity use and carbon emissions. Air Source Heat Pumps are another important aspect of the building’s sustainable design. This renewable energy solution doubles as an energy-efficient heating and cooling system to maintain a constant, pleasant level of temperature and comfort during both winter and summer. 

To complement its eco-classroom Whaplode School has also added a new natural outdoor play and learning space for the children to enjoy all year round.  Designed by Grimsby-based Newby Leisure in conjunction with the school and built using sustainable products, the new playground provides an adventurous and imaginative area to boost children’s learning and physical abilities in a safe and secure environment. Key features include artificial grass, outdoor coloured shelters, a timber matrix and areas equipped for construction play, water play and more.

Mrs Alison Flack, the School’s Executive Headteacher, says the existing Reception classroom is now being used by Year 1, giving them a dedicated outdoor area and better classroom facilities within the main school and providing a better transition from Early Years to Key Stage 1. Summing up, she says: “We are delighted with our new eco-classroom and the contractor’s use of offsite modular construction methods enabled a much faster build time, reducing site disruption and upheaval to our busy school site.”

Whaplode School’s new eco-classroom was opened officially on 6th May 2022 by Councillor Paul Redgate, Chairman of South Holland District Council and parents of current Reception class pupils were invited to see their children enjoying their new learning space. Reverend Alistair Ward, Vicar of St Mary’s Church, Whaplode, attended the opening to bless the new classroom and The deputy CEO of  Lincoln Anglican Academy Trust, Tamara Allen, was also present.