Corbets Tey School, Upminster, Essex

Specialist Essex school enhances sensory learning with Solardome® glasshouses.

Corbets Tey, a school for children with complex learning needs, were looking to diversify their curriculum by adding a safe but fun outdoor structure to their grounds.

The school, based in the London Borough of Havering, purchased two Solardome® Retreats – and haven’t looked back since.

Double the fun

The dome at Corbets Tey SchoolThe leadership team first enquired with Solardome Industries in 2014, headed up by Enterprise and Technology Lead Susan Cumbers and Senior Administrative Officer Karen Hoffman.

“We wanted to purchase an outdoor structure that could facilitate fun cross-curricular learning activities,” said Karen.

Following a thorough consultation with Solardome’s technical team, including a superimposition service and comprehensive sales process, the teaching staff opted for two Solardome® Retreat domes.

Co-operation and interaction

The domes have become a valuable resource, and have helped to accelerate the school’s mission to develop confidence, self-belief and resilience in their pupils.

The dome at Corbets Tey SchoolDue to their circular shape, the geodesic domes promote inclusivity and interaction, while features like low threshold doors for wheelchair access mean that everyone can join in with the fun.

“The domes provide us with all-year-round access to outdoor horticulture activities, incorporating subjects like Maths, Science and Art,” said Karen.

“The spaces [are perfect for] problem solving, life skills, co-operation and interaction,” she added.

Full value

To truly maximise the spaces, and help to deliver a fulfilling and purposeful education, the school designed two distinct environments: a facility for growing and experiential learning in one, and a breakaway play space in the other.

The domes are perfect for problem solving, life skills, co-operation and interaction.

The Solardome® Retreat outdoor classrooms promise to provide many more years of enjoyment for future generations at the school, as the glasshouse range is known to last for decades.

As well as the long-term investments that the glasshouse and PRO ranges provide, the school makes the domes available to external groups and organisations to further maximise their investment.


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At a glance

Location Upminster, Essex
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The challenge To provide an outdoor classroom for a variety of hands-on, creative activities for children with complex learning needs.
The solution 2 Solardome® Retreats
Specification (per dome) Diameter – 6.27m / 20’07”
Height – 3.47m / 11’05”
Area – 28.6m2

Note: the above measurements are for the latest generation of the Solardome® Retreat model, and may vary slightly.

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