Wistaston Academy, Cheshire

Solardome® geodesic dome delivers first-class outdoor space to pupils with diverse learning needs.

Wistaston Academy, based in Crewe, were looking for a multi-purpose structure to enhance learning experiences and emotional wellbeing among the children.

The primary and nursery school, which focusses on a broad and balanced education that meets the needs of each pupil, first showed interest in the Growing Schools range in 2018.

A meaningful addition

Headteacher Dominique Griffiths and her team were tasked with finding an inspirational outdoor structure as a breakaway learning and relaxing space for the children.

Outdoor classroom dome in CheshireThey were impressed with the unique geodesic shape and calming nature of the glasshouse range, and chose the Solardome® Retreat, which, at 29m2, is able to hold a full class of pupils.

Wistaston’s Site Manager James Lea said: “The dome is truly impressive and a fantastic addition to the school”.

Quiet retreat

A key requirement for the school was to deliver a safe, peaceful space for their pupils, some of whom contend with learning difficulties.

“The Solardome® Retreat provides a calm environment and allows children to access our outdoor provision whilst meeting their individual needs – particularly at unstructured periods, such as break times,” said James.

“It really lives up to its name as it provides a quiet retreat for children with a range of learning requirements,” he added.

Meanwhile, the staff were pleased to find a structure that could double up as an outdoor classroom for more focussed academic activities.

“As the dome can accommodate 30 pupils, we can utilise this amazing resource for learning outside of the classroom,” he said.

A smooth process

James and his team chose to install the dome themselves, but still received extensive support from Solardome, from technical consultation through to delivery.

“The Solardome team provided an excellent service. The parts are of premium quality and came with easy-to-follow instructions and supporting images and documentation. The resulting structure is truly impressive,” said James.

The dome was an instant hit and, despite some initiatives being hampered by COVID-19, will deliver a cutting-edge outdoor curriculum for many years to come.

“We are proud that we were able to bring the Solardome® Retreat to our school,” he added.

At a glance

Location Crewe, Cheshire
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The challenge To provide a quiet retreat and inspirational outdoor learning space for young learners with a wide range of academic needs.
The solution Solardome® Retreat
Specification Diameter – 6.27m / 20’07”
Height – 3.47m / 11’05”
Area – 28.6m2

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