Ronald Ross and Greenmead Schools

Neilcott are delighted to have been awarded this prestigious project by the London Borough of Wandsworth.  The project comprises of the co-location of the existing 1 form entry Ronald Ross Primary School and 72 place Greenmead SEN Primary School on the Ronald Ross Primary School site. Greenmead Primary is a school which is predominantly focussed on physical need, and currently co-located with the Paddock School in Putney. Paddock School requires expansion to accommodate the increased need for Autistic Spectrum Disorder support within the borough, and this is being addressed through the relocation of Greenmead to Ronald Ross, so that Paddock can expand into the current Greenmead facility which is already set up for ASD requirements.
Bringing a mainstream primary together with an SEN primary has challenges, particularly on such a confined site. However the opportunities and benefits have been identified through a consultation process which makes the development a key educational asset for the borough with both schools being able to share ideas and provide the mainstream and SEN support to each other that wouldn’t have been possible if either had been developed separately.
The number of children with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEN) in Wandsworth is increasing mainly as a result of the increase in the birth rate, but also as a result of medical advances resulting in an increase of the survival rate of children born prematurely or with complex health needs. As a result the Council needs to provide more places in specialist provisions.
Through co-locating Greenmead and Ronald Ross it is aimed to provide an environment that can meet the needs of all pupils in the mainstream and specialist settings, but also promotes flexible opportunities for inclusion to meet the needs of individual children.
Located on a confined site, the proposal strives to reduce the building footprint as much as possible to release the maximum amount of ground plane over to external play and amenity. The design has sought to find the optimum balance between maximising the ground place and reducing the building bulk and maintaining a sympathetic building height. The final solution provides a 3 storey “L” shaped building which steps up the site to maximise the extreme level changes across the site. Taking advantage of the level difference allow for the creation of two levels with direct access to the ground floor.
The design proposals respond to the massing of the existing school by locating the tallest part of the building in a similar position to the 3 storey mass in the current school. The site is a very open/exposed site that isn’t immediately bounded by low scale housing.
The overall massing has been designed to create a building with civic frontage and presence along Beaumont Road, which reinforces is stature as an important public facility within the local community. While there is a civic scale along Beaumont Road, care has been taken to reduce the scale of the building along the main access points to become more domestic in nature, particularly along the edges of Ronald Ross and Greenmead where the children will be playing. The mass is broken up by single storey height canopies that bring the volume of space down around the children and reduce the effect of two and three storey edges along the play areas. The scale of the building along Castlecombe Road is much lower than along the eastern edge which is sympathetic to the existing low building frontage along that street.
The school’s main entrance is situated at the centre and heart of the building, right between the two schools. Pulled away from the road, a dedicated pedestrian path runs between the vehicular access and Ronald Ross early years play area. Separate vehicular access is provided for vehicles with disabled access. A draught lobby is provided to protect the building entrance area from extreme weather while also creating a third secure line within the entrance area. While both schools have general offices facing the entrance lobby area, these spaces are dedicated administrative spaces which support a central reception desk area.
Visitors will report to the central reception, where the receptionist on duty will allow them access to the relevant school. This shared reception acts as a united frontage for the two schools while still allowing them to operate independently.
The school is equipped with a hydrotherapy pool which will be used extensively by the Greenmead children. The changing areas are equipped with tracking systems to assist with the moving of children in and out of the pool as necessary.
The halls are located on the first floor to sit within the main hub of children, for easy access. Whilst not located on the ground/lower ground level it has easy access with two lifts and stairs to bring the children and visitors up. The 3 halls have been designed to work as a single large space or series of smaller spaces to suit various requirements of both schools, such as dining, PE, school performances and assemblies. The halls symbolise the new collaborative relationship being built by the two schools with each other.
To support Ronald Ross’s play space requirements, an element of roof play has been introduced above the Ronald Ross wing. This space will have a series of soft and hard areas so that it can be used for safe play as well as external classrooms for teaching outside in good weather.Ronald-Ross-and-Greenmead