INNOVATIVE NEW PRIMARY SCHOOL, SCHOOL 360, WELCOMES FIRST PUPILS TO SUGAR HOUSE ISLAND, EAST LONDON
School 360, an innovative new primary school, has opened its doors at Sugar House Island in east London. Operated by the Big Education Trust, the school will join its sister school, the Ofsted-rated ‘Outstanding’ School 21, in Stratford.
Granted planning permission in March 2020, the highly anticipated new school is the latest addition to the award-winning, mixed-use development and will be an integral part of its creative and diverse community.
The new building has been designed specially to support the school’s unique curriculum which is based on three pillars: developing the head to provide rich knowledge and deep understanding; the heart to focus on wellbeing and relationships; and the hands to encourage every child to learn about creativity, problem-solving and the arts.
With external and project-based learning key to School 360’s pedagogy, the outdoor spaces, including the rooftop playground, have been designed for both recreational sports and outdoor learning.
Students will benefit from a green outdoor classroom, for reading and group activities, as well as a forest area, rooftop playground and a bike parking zone, containing a covered space for 58 bicycles and additional scooter spaces. This complements Sugar House Island’s vision for walking and cycling to take priority in the thriving community.
The rooftop playground and multi-use games area (MUGA) offer a range of play and learning experiences with an outdoor classroom and theatre, open play space and planting areas.
Inside, the school offers students a variety of learning experiences and spaces with a ‘Makerspace’ dedicated to arts, crafts and technology, ‘Oracy Stairs’ which offer informal seating and opportunities for students to share their voice and a flexible studio space designed for dance, sport and performances.
The school also boasts a dedicated SEN room to cater to students with special educational needs.
School 360 takes a cloud approach to technology. Being one of the earliest pioneers of the serverless school concept, the school obtained special permission from the Department of Education to allow all of its software to be cloud-based.
The classrooms have been designed to be flexible and allow for quick layout changes to increase students’ engagement levels. This has been achieved by removing the traditional static teaching position, allowing an interactive screen to be positioned in many locations, and including movable walls between pairs of classrooms.
Sugar House Island
School 360 is located within the mixed-use Sugar House Island development, which provides homes, offices and retail spaces within a collaborative and creative community. Once complete, the Island will bring together a community of 6,000 people, with 1,200 homes, offices, cafes, restaurants and community facilities.
Andrew Cobden, MD of Vastint UK, said: “We are delighted that School 360 has opened at Sugar House Island and are thrilled to welcome the first generation of pupils and staff.
“The new school is an asset to local families and an integral part of the Sugar House Island community. As a people-centred neighbourhood, School 360’s values align with our mission to create a thriving and sustainable community with creativity and wellbeing at its heart.”
School 360 will be led by co-headteachers Andrea Silvain, who joins from School 21, and Sarah Seleznyov, formerly Director of London South Teaching School. As deputy headteacher of School 21, Silvain has a particular focus on arts and wellbeing, while Seleznyov has spent 20 years teaching children, teachers and school leaders.
Sarah Seleznyov, said: “We are delighted to launch School 360 this September. We look forward to welcoming children on their education journey – Reception children in 2020-21, and opening to younger children in subsequent years”.
Andrea Silvain, said. “Our new primary school is led by our values of courage, curiosity, kindness, responsibility, and joy, and will draw on the strength and expertise of the amazing creative community within Sugar House Island. By working together collaboratively we can think differently and learn together.”
The first reception class is settling in with few places left for new students. There is a high demand for school places in east London where, in recent years, local schools have excelled in producing high performing students. School 360 aims to continue this legacy in the area, providing high quality teaching and a welcome environment for local families.
The new school was designed by architects Penoyre & Prasad, and constructed by Mid Group.
With centuries of history, Sugar House Island is a distinctive, urban environment with diverse architecture – made up of a mixture of old and new buildings. The newly launched ‘Soapbox’ is a collection of 211 modern, spacious homes, welcoming everyone from solo occupants to couples, sharers and families, with four-bedroom mews houses due to launch later in 2021. The much-anticipated homes are filling up quickly, following the huge success of Sugar House Island’s first phase: Botanical Mews. Sugar House Island makes life easy for residents, with a range of services available including a concierge, parcel storage, secure underground parking, individual basement storage, and a dedicated residents’ app.
With 40% of the new homes offering three or more bedrooms, local families are moving to the area and making full use of Sugar House Island’s welcoming environment.
The characterful development is just a 10-minute walk from the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, surrounded by waterways, with rich, industrial heritage.