Westgarth Primary School
A multipurpose dome that is more than ‘just another room’
At home in the grounds of Westgarth Primary School in Cleveland, is a SOLARDOME® Sanctuary. This 8m glass dome has become a truly multifunctional outdoor learning space, perfect for a variety of activities and is enjoyed by pupils, teachers and parents.
Looking to create some extra space, the school initially had considered a more traditional ‘chalet’ type construction, but became excited about the additional uses a Solardome® glasshouse could give them after seeing one at The Education Show.
“From class lessons, to after-school clubs, and even the Christmas grotto, the school’s dome has become an invaluable outdoor learning resource.”
Having reviewed other building options the school chose a dome as it gave them an “awful lot of space for a fairly limited outlay of costs”.
They were inspired by the glass dome’s potential, recognising it wasn’t ‘just another room’, but something quite different. Once the decision was made to purchase a dome, the school explored a variety of funding options which included an interest-free loan through the Local Authority, a charitable grant from a local church and school funds. An active PTA was also able to raise money to support the project.
A truly valuable resource
Today, this multi functional outdoor learning space has become a truly valuable resource. As well as using it for work linked to all areas of the curriculum, it is also used for staff meetings, nurture groups, break-out spaces, after-school clubs, a debating society, and even a magical Christmas grotto. As a grotto, the dome also supports the wider community, and has become established as a local annual event where the dome is the focus for a ‘street market’ which supports the school’s enterprise initiative selling Christmas gifts to around 500 visitors.
“It is a real focal point of the school. Everyone who goes out there says ‘wow’. What has been achieved is a wonderful and special place that the children and teachers love being in. It is a really valuable resource.”
Creatively furnished, with colourful flooring and seating, acoustic clouds and hanging butterfly kites, the dome is a welcoming and inspiring place.
At a glance
|Location||Westgarth Primary School
|The challenge||Originally intended for as extra space for an eco/art room the school soon realised its potential for additional activities.|
|The solution||SOLARDOME® Sanctuary|
|Dome specification||Diameter – 8.1m / 26’8”
Height – 3.9m / 12’10”
Area – 48.8m² / 525ft²
Volume – 125m³ / 4,414ft³