Sustainable build at Notting Hill and Ealing High School

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New sustainable Junior School building supports state-of-the-art education for girls at Notting Hill and Ealing High School

Notting Hill and Ealing High School (NHEHS) hosted a traditional ‘Topping Out’ ceremony to celebrate completion of the main structure and roof of the new state-of-the-art, sustainable junior school just before the end of term. With sustainability at its heart, the development is groundbreaking in terms of how it will provide inside/outside learning opportunities in an eco-friendly building, and is due for completion in Autumn 2023.

In attendance at the ceremony were Cheryl Giovannoni, Girls’ Day School Trust (GDST) Chief Executive, Matthew Shoults, NHEHS Head, Kate Bevan, Junior School Head, and pupils from the Junior, Senior and Sixth Form schools. They were joined by project team members Carol Lees, architect and partner at Hawkins Brown, director of estates Cathryn Buckle and senior project manager Laura Lincoln from GDST, along with key contractors.

GDST Chief Executive Cheryl Giovannoni said: “As Notting Hill & Ealing High School celebrate its 150th anniversary, the GDST is proud to have invested in this light-filled, inspiring sustainable Junior School building. With these flexible and state-of-the-art learning spaces, NHEHS has prepared for the future and can continue delivering the outstanding education for which it is renowned.”

NHEHS Junior School Head Kate Bevan adds, “The building embodies what we want for our girls – a childhood and school experience that gives them the space to explore, find their interests and play their part in a connected whole. I am also proud that it reflects our girls’ passion for the environment and will continue to support our work in this area for years to come.”

The fully-accessible building includes 14 new classrooms, specialist teaching spaces for music, art, science and computing, a light-filled library and a hall with performance seating. With a science garden, forest school area and dedicated play area for Reception pupils, the outside space is integral to making learning a hands-on experience.

The GDST has targeted a net zero carbon development. The building has a sustainable wooden frame, south-facing photovoltaic panels on the saw tooth roof to catch the most sunlight and supply electricity, north-facing roof lights for daylight with limited solar gain, a highly insulated and airtight building fabric, air source heat pumps, a heat recovery system to keep the warmth in the building while allowing fresh air in, and noise-reducing sustainable wooden cladding inside.

Following a speech from Junior School Head Kate Bevan, Head Girl Lewhat Yoseif, read a poem. Year 6 pupil Olivia Sherman read a poem she had composed for the occasion about the changing buildings.

Pupils have been involved in the project from beginning to end as part of the school’s commitment to practising what it preaches. Junior pupils have learnt about its sustainable elements, had tours of the building site as it’s progressed, and attended workshops with the architect. Pupils have learnt about engineering and building design and came up with their own ideas for interior layouts.

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