A School Of Endeavours
Brand new Hampshire school opened by the BBC Blue Peter Gardener and the Lord-Lieutenant of Hampshire receives prestigious RIBA award on the day for architectural excellence!
Endeavour Primary School in Andover, Hampshire is truly a wonderful 21st century building, which has just been awarded the RIBA (Royal Institute of British Architects) award for architectural excellence. It is one of only fifty buildings in the UK to have achieved this prestigious accolade.
The officially opening of the school took place on Friday 22nd June 2012 and was attended by many dignitaries such the HM Lord-Lieutenant of Hampshire, Dame Mary Fagan DCVO JP and Leader of the House of Commons, Sir George Young. The morning started with pupils leading the guests on tours around the school which demonstrated just how enthusiastic these children are to be learning in such an amazing environment. This was followed by the official opening ceremony; including the Blue Peter Gardener Chris Collins’ opening of their Solardome® glasshouse; a unique outside growing and learning environment.
Marina Crean (Head) said “The transition from our temporary building to this fabulous site has now been officially marked. As a school we are pleased to be establishing ourselves within the community. The staff and especially the children have enjoyed an exciting day together with all our visitors.”
The school is rather revolutionary; summed up by its namesake, British Navy Research vessel, HMS Endeavour, its building and staff really do encourage an enterprising spirit in all their pupils. In fact all the classrooms are named after renowned discoverers, explorers and pioneers such as Captain Cook and Charles Darwin and every last detail has been thought of, from a giant continuous slide show of the children’s achievements to a fully functional community café run by the pupils themselves. And that’s just the inside! Each classroom has a two metre deep covered external space for outdoor learning and this ethos carries on throughout the school grounds; there are playgrounds, sports areas, fields, a wild pond, plants, wildlife feeders, a weather centre, protected shelters, hubs for storytelling and at the centre of it all is a Solardome® glasshouse, the first of its kind in a Hampshire School.
The school have set up their new SOLARDOME® Capella (6m diameter) as a mini Eden project which will not only allow the children to create and observe micro climates, but will also mean they can take any learning outside into a natural and inspiring environment. It is also being used for lunchtime activities such as the school’s Gardening Club. The Blue Peter Gardener Chris Collins, currently partnering with Solardome, was on hand after the official opening to help the children finish setting up their Eden project. They were all very excited to have Chris there and although they all wanted to help him plant up their new dome the six members of the school’s Gardening club were chosen to assist him.
He spent the next hour creating a mini tropical rainforest in the main planter at the centre of the glasshouse, with plenty of help from the kids. He also provided them with a quick science lesson on how rainforests work and they even challenged him back with a few questions of their own! After lunch he was joined by a new group of eager pupils and they planted up the containers surrounding the dome with herbs, fruit vegetables and bedding plants. He then finished the day by giving a talk and slide show on his own experiences of the rainforest!
Chris said ‘When I was a kid I used to dream of being able to see the sky when I was in the classroom so I think these domes are quite amazing things. The idea of being able to see your surroundings when learning is a fantastic thing!’
Endeavour’s building, grounds, staff and especially its pupils, more than live up to the name of their school and it really does deserve the RIBA award and the other accolades that will surely follow.