Upton Hall School FCJ
A desire to deliver an outstanding level of science teaching in a stimulating educational environment led Upton Hall School to apply for a grant from The Wolfson Foundation.
The school decided to use their £32,000 grant from The Wolfson Foundation to fund the purchase of an unusual new outdoor classroom. They chose a SOLARDOME® Retreat, which can accommodate a class of up to 35 pupils engaged in activities.
Upton Hall School is a Roman Catholic Grammar School for girls aged 11-18. The school wanted their geodesic dome to become an inspirational learning space, ideal for teaching STEM subjects (science, technology, engineering and maths) in a motivational setting.
An innovative outdoor study room
Pupils of Upton Hall School use the dome for science and other projects and the presentation of their scientific research. It’s become a unique glass outdoor classroom.
Led by teacher, Mrs McGettrick, and her Year 7 Eco Club, the school decided to create an Eco Garden with the dome at its centre. The club had already designed a central feature of seasonal flowers grown from seed inside the glasshouse.
Bolstered by their success, the club wanted to expand outside to make an edible garden that would be attractive to wildlife. They built a pathway around the dome, leading to three raised beds planted with herbs and vegetables.
As Mrs McGettrick explained,
“We’re developing an eco garden to surround the dome with paths, beds, seating, a hillock, and an edible hedge. The girls and staff see this as a fantastic opportunity to help promote sustainability, healthy living and respect for our environment.”
Educating across the curriculum
At a ceremony to officially open the Eco Garden, guests were invited to explore the dome and surrounding area. The dome was used to showcase the horticultural skills pupils had employed in the creation of the garden.
The original idea for installing a glass dome was to provide students with an inspirational space for learning full of natural light. In this respect, the dome has more than fulfilled its role. As well as being a classroom where pupils carry out advanced activities such as construction and propagation, it’s also become the central hub of a vibrant living community.
The dome has been incorporated into a variety of lesson plans to enhance learning across all areas of the curriculum. It’s become an exceptional classroom that has inspired pupils to look at the world in a new light.
|School||Upton Hall School FCJ, Wirral, UK
Secondary Grammar School
More about Wolfson Foundation funding
|The challenge||To provide an inspirational learning space, ideal for teaching STEM subjects|
|The solution||SOLARDOME® Retreat|
|Dome specification||4-frequency geodesic dome
Diameter – 6.11m
Height – 3.4m
Volume – 66m3
Floor area – 29.32m2
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