St Michael's New Classroom Block

St Michael's New Classroom Block



Headmistress Mrs Cathy Shadwell


APS were approached to help the school build four new classrooms in order to increase their numbers. However, the key was where to place the new classrooms and how they would influence the school's development in future years - to this end, we first undertook a holistic masterplanning exercise.

When undertaking a masterplan design we believe that a thorough analysis of all the aspects of the project – from site, climate and environmental issues as well as the needs and requirements of the end-users is the key to a well–designed project.

Once the masterplan was established, we were able to design the four classrooms and ancillary blocks in confidence, knowing they were part of a bigger picture in the future.

Key Concepts of the Design:

Creation of Optimum Learning Environments:

We recognize that the best school environments give an impression of liveliness, with attractive spaces and a general feeling of pleasantness which it is difficult to define. There can be no doubt that in these cases the surroundings contribute to the happiness and well-being of teachers and pupils, and that lighting plays a significant role in this.

The design incorporates a range of spaces - indoor and outdoor - many of which are used for a number of different activities, either at the same time or at different times. The design creates an outdoor stage for events, which is a focal point of the project.

Ventilation and Indoor Air Quality:

Ventilation within learning spaces plays a massive role in the quality of the learning experience. Better ventilation, ambient temperatures and carbon monoxide levels make significant differences to leaner concentration and participation.

The design of the classrooms therefore take into account the delicate balancing act between light, ventilation and temperature to create the best learning environment possible.

Progression of Futures Phases to Create a Courtyard Space:

The concept masterplan design of the school aims to achieve a progression of phases that untimely results in a large courtyard space - the heart of the school.


The courtyard space could contain a variety outdoor learning spaces such as small amphitheaters or even diverse mini-biomes or even ponds to add to classroom-based learning. The design of the courtyard would aim to be an exceptional facility that provides a safe, protective, accessible and effective learning environment. The design will be learner-centred, developmentally- and age- appropriate. and building systems to support a diversity of learning modalities.


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