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School Project Focus - Reepham High School and College

2003 - Reepham High School Art Room
2005 - Reepham High School and College Science Block Corridor: showing natural lighting and ventilation. Corridor also supplies 'borrowed' natural lighting and cross ventilation to laboratories
View across new playing fields to New Reepham Sixth Form College

The evolution of a State Secondary School 2001 to the present day


Dec 2014 - 'You have made an enormous difference to the quality of our environment.'  Mark Farrar - Principal of Reepham High  School and College (RHSC) 3 months after completion of phase 1 of  Refurbishment works to 1959 building.  building 


April 2014    - 'You have achieved something remarkable for RHSC that will benefit generations of pupils.'   Mark Farrar - Principal of Reepham High School and College (RHSC) on receipt of funding approval for phase 1 of Refurbishment works to 1959 building. 


2010 - ‘Every journey into the college remains a delight, something special, I can no longer imagine Reepham without its sixth form. The transition has been made and we will now go from strength’.  Principal writing in School Review Winter 2011 - one year after completion of New Sixth Form College.


2005 - ‘I am delighted with the result of all the work that has been undertaken. It has simply transformed the physical environment of the school. ‘  Christopher Hassel- Headmaster- Reepham High School. New Science Block (and internal re-oganisation and re-furbishment of existing buildings)   na  New Art Block Nand 


2003 - 'I did not want it to look like a school building, rather that it should appear as a quality environment for 21st century artwork. It certainly does and all visiting educators are envious'  Christopher Hassell - Headmaster Reepham High School.  New Art Block  



Reepham College -  West elevation - comprehensive 'Evalon Solar' Photo Voltaic  installation as part of Government sponsored Reepham Carbon Challenge programme


The Five Year Plan


As unofficial friends of Reepham High School, Andrew Teather and Christopher Walls have been closely  involved with the Principal and his colleagues (both governors and staff) in the development of the school for more than ten years. We discussed the idea of a five-year plan and, as a first step, the school commissioned a survey of the existing buildings so we could assess more clearly what was there and look at various options for the school’s reorganisation and future development.


The Masterplan


Based on the survey and initial discussions a preliminary masterplan was prepared which has been developed over the years and has been  the basis of a structured evolution of the school estate.


Additional Land


At this early stage the idea of a 6th form college was just a gleam in the Principal’s eye, but  the need to acquire additional land was clearly identified in order to improve the prospect of success and ensure that future development was not restricted. 


View of Reepham College over newly acquired and created playing fields - showing wind turbine installed as part of Government sponsored Reepham Carbon Challenge programme

New Art Block

The immediate urgent need was for a purpose-built new art block extension, ideally with northlight, and the school funded the construction of the primary coloured, cubist-style building for this purpose. In the end, the need for a technology room proved the greater, and the use of the room was switched to this purpose. The idea for this building was conceived in December 2002 and the project was completed in October 2003 [offsite timber fabrication].  (Reepham High School Art Room).


Art Classroom - Timber frame and panel
Art Room  with Northlight  - originally commissioned, designed and constructed as an Art classroom . Change of use to Technology Suite instructed prior to final internal fitout
Art Classroom -  external detail


New Science Block


The next major task was to replace the original science rooms, which were little changed from when the school was originally built circa 1960, with the new buildings which we see today.  The idea for this was conceived in May 2004 and the project was completed in October 2005 [offsite timber fabrication].  (Reepham High School Science Block). 


Science Laboratory: back lighting and cross ventilation through adjoining corridor
2005 - Reepham High School and College Science Block Corridor: showing natural lighting and ventilation. Corridor also supplies 'borrowed' natural lighting and cross ventilation to laboratories
Science Laboratory with serviced pedastal bases


Re-organising and upgrading the interior of the existing premises ses


Concurrent with the above activity, the school set about a programme of re-organising and upgrading the interior of the existing premises, which has resulted in major benefits for the staff and pupils. There is an ongoing programme of improvement under discussion which we hope will ultimately lead to a carbon neutral school.


New Sixth Form College


Partly as a result of the initiative which the school has shown in the development of all of the above, we progressed to the development of the school to accommodate a new college. This stage comprised the new college building and extensions to the existing science, music and art facilities. Additionally, this college provision has lead to major improvements to the rest of the school, consisting of greatly improved access, car and bus parking,  and increased and improved school playing-field areas.  (Reepham Sixth Form College)      )


View across new playing fields to New Reepham Sixth Form College
Wind turbine at Reepham College


The effect of the Internal Environment on Educational Attainment


The new college building has been designed with the objective of creating the lowest possible energy demand (energy footprint) consistent with achieving exceptional environmental comfort levels both now and in the future, when climate change is expected to make life uncomfortable in many existing buildings, even some of those recently built. Great attention has been paid to natural lighting levels, glare, acoustic standards, upper temperature limits in summer conditions, and classroom carbon dioxide (C02) levels in winter, all of which are proven to impact upon pupils academic performance.


Minimising Energy Consumption


A variety of techniques have been used to minimise energy consumption, of which two are key. The first is that, as far as possible, all areas of the building are to be naturally ventilated using electrically controlled openings which open and close based on wind speed, air temperature and C02 levels. For those who wish to know more, the system is called ‘NV Advance’ by Windowmaster’, and information may be found by ‘googling’ these key words. The second is that the building is constructed of concrete with exposed ceilings, which act as large radiators of ‘coolth’ in the summer and ‘warmth’ in the winter. On hot summer days the building can benefit from the use of night purge with the cool night air automatically allowed in via the electrically controlled apertures to lower the building fabric temperature. This results in a more comfortable feel to the building during the daytime, due to the steady emission of lower radiant temperatures from the exposed ceilings.


No mechanical comfort cooling systems required for ICT or LRC suites


These techniques together ensure that, when taken with the high insulation levels provided, the heated air spilled out in winter is reduced to a minimum consistent with achieving the necessary C02 levels and, in the summer, comfort levels are maintained in hot weather without the need for the introduction of comfort cooling systems which are expensive to run and burn a lot of energy.


Retro fitted PV (2010) and Wind turbine (2011)


Reepham is the only community in the East of England to be chosen as a winner of  The Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC)  Low Carbon Communities Challenge .


As part of the college future proofing strategy the college was designed to facilitate the future cost effective installation and maintenance of an Evalon Solar Photo Voltaic membrane to both the west and east elevations. Specifically the concrete roof slabs were pitched at 10 degrees to enable self cleaning and an Alwitra single ply roof covering was installed in readiness for the direct application of the photo voltaic membrane.


We were therefore able to put a good case to the Carbon Challenge team and the project was selected for;


2010  - Installation of retro-fitted Evalon Solar  Photo Voltaic roof membrane to the entire west facing roof

2011 -  Installation of retro-fitted Gaia 11Kw Wind  Turbine


Future plans


Further plans are afoot based on the latest masterplan which continues to adapt and inform strategic thinking. The local community are fortunate to have a devoted principal, governors and team at Reepham High School who want nothing but the best for their pupils and who are continually striving to improve what is already a remarkable institution.


A school is an evolving environment and lessons can constantly be learnt on how design can be improved to meet the evolving needs of  staff and pupils.  We meet quarterly with the school to ensure regular feedback.




The school has 3 consecutive ‘outstanding’ Ofsted reports.


Making a  difference


'It has been a privilege to be involved and we will welcome and explore any opportunity to use our experience to 'make a difference' in other schools and colleges.'  Andrew Teather and Christopher Walls. ''