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Fordham Outdoor Classroom

We designed and built a new outdoor classroom for our local primary school, as a pro bono project. Following fundraising by the PTA which raised enough for a generic catalogue shelter, we offered to use the funds to cover the material costs for a bespoke structure that we would co-design and build with the school. Through a series of wonderful workshops with all the children and staff, we developed a playful and special design which our team built during the summer half-term. You can read more about the design process here.

The new structure has a distinctive hyperbolic paraboloid roof that shelters a space that can be used by a class of 30 for anything from storytelling, environmental experiments, sports day and informal play. We took the opportunity to experiment with making a curving structure out of prefabricated timber elements, and you can read more about this here.

Among many who contributed to this project, we are particularly grateful to our frequent collaborators Momentum Engineering for engineering the project pro bono, Kent Blaxill and Wesbroom Engineering for discounting the materials required, and our neighbour Paul, who dug the foundations for free.

From September each class is scheduled to use the classroom for a day a week and we think it will make a real difference to how they learn about their environment. The children are so excited to see the design that they helped develop actually being realised.

Headteacher, Fordham All Saints Primary School.