Work begins on new school expansion at Locking Parklands

Winterstoke Academy students and staff welcomed the official launch of building its new school.

Winterstoke Academy students and staff welcomed the official launch of the school's expansion. - Credit: CLF

Work has begun on a new environmentally friendly secondary school in Weston.

On Friday (January 28), Winterstoke Hundred Academy marked the beginning of construction for its new expansion on the Locking Parklands estate, which will cater for 900 students aged 11 to 16.

Kier Construction will build the three-storey school adjacent to the A371, that will focus heavily on environmental sustainability and carbon neutrality by the time it welcomes students next year.

An artist's impression of the second school site.

An artist's impression of the second school site. - Credit: Winterstoke Hundred Academy

Winterstoke Hundred - a member of the Cabot Learning Federation (CLF) - opened in 2020 at the site of the former Weston College building on Haywood Village, and currently houses a secondary school and sixth form for students aged 11 to 19.

Work on the expansion is set to be complete by 2023, and the two sites will be located less than a mile apart. The existing school building will then primarily cater for sixth form students.

Present at the ceremony were students and staff from the school, representatives of North Somerset Council including chairman Cllr Richard Westwood, and principal of Hans Price Academy, which is also part of the CLF, Tony Searle.

Winterstoke Hundred Academy principal Ian Garforth is pictured with two students at the ceremony.

Winterstoke Hundred Academy principal Ian Garforth is pictured with two students at the ceremony. - Credit: CLF

At the heart of development is a focus on environmental sustainability, helping to reach the council's carbon neutral status by the year 2030.

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On-site energy generation, a recycling centre, as well as extra bike storage for pupils and a 'sustainability lab' will be built as a lasting legacy of the development, and will bring 'social value to the community,' CLF says.

A habitat and woodland area will also feature as an outdoor classroom for children to learn about the environment first-hand and the impacts of ecological damage.

North Somerset Council's executive member for assets and capital delivery, Cllr Steve Bridger, said: "I’m proud to say the building has been designed to meet some of the top environmental standards, helping us work towards our goal of becoming carbon neutral, and thinking about the future of our region as well as our young people."

A time capsule was also laid where the new sports hall will be built which included letters and drawings of students on climate change.

Two Parklands Educate Together Primary School students, Coral and Eddy both aged 9, presented the time capsule.

Two Parklands Educate Together Primary School students, Coral and Eddy both aged 9, presented the time capsule. - Credit: CLF

The school has been designed to reach a sustainability rating of ‘excellent’, and aims to create a 10 per cent biodiversity net gain. This means the school will have a positive ecological impact on the area.

Academy principal, Ian Garforth, said: "This is an immensely exciting time for us at Winterstoke Hundred, particularly today when our students can be here to put the first spade in the ground.

"This is a cutting edge school for the children of tomorrow."