Holywell All Through School

Ryder Landscape Consultants where appointed to developed design proposals for Holywell All Through School located in Holywell, North Wales for the submission of a detailed planning application to Flintshire County Council. The new school will amalgamate a primary, junior and senior into one therefore the external environment needed to cater for a mixture of age groups and abilities. The external space around the new school is divided between primary / junior and secondary provision along with a courtyard catering for the outdoor needs of a new nursery.

The primary school external environment has been designed so that it offers spaces to learn and to play. A series of informal external classroom areas for small groups have been developed that also act as social gathering spaces during play time. Along with these a larger covered area offers the opportunity to take single or combined classes outside to learn and this area can also be an external performance space or amphitheatre. Play equipment, coloured rubber crumb surfacing and grass mounding offer formal and informal play opportunities within the external spaces. Quieter areas have been developed away from the main external spaces that sit within a more natural environment surrounded by tree and wildflower planting and a kitchen garden will allow the school to grow its own produce and offer another learning opportunity for the pupils.

The senior school external environment, like that for the primary school, has been developed to include both learning spaces and social spaces. To the rear of the school three formal courts are marked on an area of hard standing for use in both formal and informal play, beyond these sits the schools formal natural turf sports provision and all-weather pitch. To the front of the school sits the senior schools main external area within which are a number of different spaces. A large amphitheatre with tier seating, created by making use of the change in levels along the site boundary, is located on the edge of this area. In front of this is a large playground space with coloured macadam which connects the outdoor eating space and social spaces. Areas of hedge planting and lawn have been introduced to give this space a soft element and provide screening from the schools main external circulation spaces.

To the rear of the school is a pond and ecological area accessed via a dedicated footpath and fenced off from its surroundings. This area has native tree, shrub and grass planting and is designed to be an educational research for both the senior and primary schools. A dipping platform is positioned over the pond for use by small groups of pupils along with an external teaching space located close by.

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