Blackburn Star Academies Interior

- Schools + FE

Star Academies: A model for good schools

— CLIENT
Star Academies

— SECTOR
Schools + FE

— SERVICES
Architecture
Landscape Design

— VALUE
Various

— LEAD CONTACTS
David Jovetic

Challenge

We have designed and delivered a growing number of schools for Star Academies (previously known as the Tauheedul Education Trust). Delivering a number of schools for the same trust can present opportunities – for instance, we’ve carried over a number of successes and lessons learned from one project to the next.

However, each site has brought different challenges and constraints, and the schools serve a wide range of communities. We also needed to create an identity that could carry across from school to school, balancing this with the unique identity of each location.

Several of the schools focus on a central atrium, which we adapted depending on the site, bringing as much daylight as possible into the space. We’ve also designed a number of Muslim faith schools for Star Academies: these present unique architectural challenges, as we needed to orientate school halls towards Mecca to help with prayer, as well as providing spaces for wuḍūʾ or ritual ablution.

Wellbeing has been a central part of our approach. For instance, Eden Girls’ School in Slough includes openings in the roof of the basement car park to allow natural light and ventilation into spaces, and the children can enjoy a stunning garden, a playground, and table tennis facilities.

We are continuing to work with Star Academies, and look forward to solving many more design challenges with the Trust as we create places where young people can learn and flourish.

“Our new school site is well equipped with all the facilities that help to provide a first-class learning experience for our pupils. The building represents the next step up in their education – it is a fantastic environment that they have been given in which to learn and grow as people.”

– KARIM MURCIA, FOUNDING PRINCIPAL OF EDEN GIRLS’ SCHOOL, SLOUGH