Hayes Park Primary School
An inspirational school creates their own rainforest dome to pursue their passion for outdoor learning.
Hayes Park Primary School opened their rainforest dome in June 2013. More than a multipurpose room, it represents their ethos of being a school that believes passionately in the importance of outdoor learning and outdoor experiences for all its pupils.
“We believe passionately in the benefits of outdoor learning and we look forward to many years with our dome.”
The school has an Eco Council comprised of school pupils, who each day make sure any compostable material is added to the composters, and any recyclable material is recycled, including using pallets to create new planters for the gardens.
This eco-aware and sustainable approach is entwined into everything the school does. Butterflies were raised in advance and released into the dome on its grand opening, refreshments were made from produce grown at the school, and there was no traditional red ribbon to cut, but a willow branch instead.
Their unique outdoor classroom is the culmination of the hard work of teachers, pupils and the local community. Events to raise money to support the purchase and transformation of the dome included Green Week, Bags2School, recycling initiatives and donations from Nestle, Tesco and the Mayor’s Fund.
The school has been supported throughout the process by Groundwork UK, a charity that works alongside communities, public bodies, private companies and the voluntary sector to create sustainable and thriving communities.
Fiona Brewer from Groundwork South commented:
“Working with Hayes Park Primary School to develop their rainforest dome is what we’re all about – helping people reach their potential and creating better places with a greener future.”
Beautifully Designed and Equipped
The dome complements perfectly the existing sensory and wildlife gardens, composters, planters, mini-beast hotel and dried up river bed. It has been beautifully designed and equipped inside with areas for exotic plants, vines, a pond and crops, which then all centre on a stunning floor mosaic designed and created by local artist Christine Smith and school pupils.
Focal Point for Learning
The school continually looks for ways to enrich the pupils’ experience and integrate learning into every aspect of their outdoor environment.
The multipurpose outdoor classroom creates a hub and focal point for pupils’ learning. With a dedicated Rainforest Curriculum topic in Year 5, it provides the perfect way to see this environment in action, inspiring pupils and bringing learning alive. The dome also enhances the teaching of the STEM subjects, with pupils most recently monitoring the inside and outside temperature as part of their science lessons. Pupils have also been creative and have made pottery tiles to celebrate the dome’s opening.
Delighted with the latest addition to their outdoor environment, Mrs Barlow, headteacher commented:
“We are all thrilled with our Solardome outdoor classroom. It looks fantastic and will provide a great environment for our pupils to learn.”
At a glance
|Location||Hayes Park Primary School
|The Challenge||To create a multipurpose room and rainforest environment to support the school’s passion for outdoor learning.|
|The Solution||SOLARDOME® Sanctuary|
|Dome Summary Specification|
|Diameter||8.1m / 26’8”|
|Height||3.9m / 12’10”|
|Area||48.8m² / 525ft²|
|Volume||125m³ / 4,414ft³|