SB Connect Winter 2016

Better by design

Kingsland Primary School in Peebles has won more praise for its design – to add to its growing collection of prestigious design awards.

The school’s latest accolade came in June when it was ‘highly commended’ in the category of Excellence in Design for Teaching and Learning (Primary) at the Best of British School Awards ceremony.

Kingsland, which was officially opened in June last year, has previously been named Edinburgh Architectural Association Building of the Year, and also picked up the award for Best Educational Project at the Scottish Design Awards in May.

Mark Fresson, of the school’s architects Archial, said: “The school is located on a prominent site, acting as a gateway into Peebles. Making the most of its location, the building is designed to have a strong connection to the outdoors, with views out over Peebles to the south and east.

“Unlike many schools, which follow the Victorian precedent of placing windows above children’s eye level, Kingsland benefits from floor-to-ceiling windows, so pupils enjoy the connection with the outside world. In keeping with this ethos, the building is domestic in scale and height, creating a welcoming environment for small children.”

Headteacher Jacqueline Wilson added: “Kingsland provides pupils and staff with a bright, airy working environment and the teaching spaces cater for the development of all children with a range of needs. Having beautiful views from classrooms and workspaces provides a stimulus for all aspects of the curriculum, especially written and art work. Watching the changing seasons is a crucial part of the primary school curriculum.

“The sense of light and space adds to the calm ethos of the school which is regularly commented on. The school has a good reputation within the community and now has a building to match that. Attainment and achievement in the school has been enhanced as all of the stakeholders have pride and confidence in this 21st-century building.”