Westgarth Primary School

Multifunctional outdoor learning space - Solardome Sanctuary at 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”.

Solardome Sanctuary Christmas grotto at Westgarth Primary SchoolFunding

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
Cleveland, UK
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

SOLARDOME® Sanctuary – More Information

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