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Five Islands School, Isles of Scilly

This is a new 'through-school', serving all ages from 3 to 16 years old and all five of the inhabited islands.

The island location of the project presented numerous challenges, not least the logistics of servicing construction - labour and materials - of a £13m building with no local sources, and minimising the impact on the fragile fabric and ecology of the island, an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, Ramsar site and adjacent SSSI.  This substantially influenced construction methods, leading to mainland pre-fabrication and modularisation.

Despite the constraints, a sympathetically scaled and styled design was achieved, involving liaison with the Duchy of Cornwall's architectural adviser as well as local Planning.  The school was formally opened by HM the Queen in June 2011, read the blog post about the Royal visit here.

The school is designed around an open, cloistered courtyard connecting the users to the outside, which is so fundamental to island life. The classrooms are naturally ventilated by roof-mounted chimneys, opening rooflights and large sliding windows also providing natural light. Rainwater is collected off the roofs for use in toilets, the heating is powered by an air-source heat pump and two large photovoltaic arrays contribute to the bulk of the electricity demands.

The School design won the Project of the Year (over £3m) category in the Michelmores / Western Morning News Commercial Property Awards and won a commendation in the National Civic Trust Awards 2013.





"I have said on numerous occasions that the best decision we have taken on this project was bringing Grainge on board......and would whole-heartedly recommend them."

- Bryce Wilby, Headteacher