After sixty years, residents in Oxford were delighted to welcome a brand-new school to ease some of the strain on the town’s educational resources.

The Swan School is a new Secondary School and Sixth Form in the northern suburb of Marston, which will provide education for 1,260 students of 11-19 years of age.

The main school building is designed over three floors, with a central atrium where students eat their meals, gather socially, and for group study as part of the wrap-around care. The scheme encompasses 62 classrooms, an assembly hall, drama and dance studios, office space, and an inclusion suite.

Architects utilised a clear colour scheme inside the building to help pupils feel welcome and find their way around the building. The modern concrete ceilings provided a challenge for designers as they are known to reflect rather than absorb sound.

Recent studies have shown that many classrooms have poor acoustics because of material selection. As a result, children cannot make out what is being communicated in class, and teachers suffer from voice strain.


The Zumtobel Group lighting brands Thorn and Zumtobel worked with LJJ Mechanical & Electrical Contractors to create a suitable lighting solution to address these important issues.

Thorn’s acoustic Arena Symphony LED raft luminaires have been integrated into the classroom’s concrete ceilings, helping to avoid all acoustic related issues, and creating an optimum learning environment.

Thorn’s innovative Arena Symphony luminaire was the ideal solution. Its sound-absorbing features minimise sound reverberation in classrooms, and it is fully compliant with BB93.

The linear raft luminaire offers a choice of infills; the system’s length has been specially adapted to match each classroom’s layout.

In addition, to the Arena Symphony luminaires, the brands delivered a complete educational lighting solution with Zumtobel’s ONDARIA wide area circular luminaires and MIREL recessed and surface luminaires in the circulation areas and classrooms and CRAFT high bay luminaires in the sports hall.

The scheme didn’t just incorporate the internal illumination. Outdoor learning featured heavily in the plans as it can have powerful benefits for welfare and academic performance. The scheme ensured that pupils could quickly move between the indoors and the outdoors.

Thorn’s R2L2 road lanterns and Orus low level mounting luminaires illuminate the car parks, and Urba Deco provides decorative pathway lighting.

The result is a lighting scheme, which met the specification, budget and has delivered an exceptional lit effect with high colour rendition to inspire tomorrow’s learners.

Zumtobel website

0 replies

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *