Works have been completed on a new school in the East Midlands which promises to deliver school places for residents of the Snelsmoor Grange housing developments, The Meadows and Holbrook Grange, and a recent development of around 200 properties on Fellow Lands Way, Chellaston.

Procured via the SCAPE Regional Construction Framework, Morgan Sindall Construction started work on the Oak Grange Primary School project in August 2022, and has completed the works within a 53-week timeframe. Following new housing developments in the area, the school will satisfy the increased demand for primary school places in the area.

On Wednesday 6th September, 25 students across Nursery and Reception joined the site for their first classes with East Midlands Education Trust, a partnership of 22 high-performing schools in Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire and Leicestershire. The school will increase in size gradually each academic year by another year group until it reaches its capacity of 315 pupils, aged from 3 to 11 years, in September 2029.

Lungfish Architects designed the school to be in keeping with its agricultural surroundings and collaborated closely with Morgan Sindall to deliver a high-end educational environment.

The desired aesthetics and functionality were achieved with the inclusion of three distinctive ‘gabled barn’ elevations, connected by glazed links, that provide natural daylight to the corridors and core of the school. The rural vernacular is also reflected by utilising metal cladding, timber and render external cladding, with deep window reveals and feature windows.

Extensive ecological surveys were carried out to ensure minimal disturbance to the natural habitats surrounding the site, including surveys of any nesting birds in the area, of badger sets close to the site, and of hedgerows which are home to birds and small mammals.

Oak Grange, part of the Derby Schools Programme, is the fifth school Morgan Sindall has delivered in partnership with Lungfish Architects as the principal designer.

As part of Morgan Sindall’s commitment to reducing their carbon impact through their work, the team mobilised its 10 Tonne Carbon Challenge at Oak Grange Primary School. As a result, they saved 69.5 tonnes of carbon dioxide through alternative construction methods; the equivalent of heating 26 homes annually.

Within the local area, the contractor achieved a spend of 39% within 20 miles, while offsite the team volunteered a total of 124 hours with various charities including Doorways Derby foodbank.

Morgan Sindall also rose to the challenge of navigating a significant increase in costs of materials and labour from when the project was initially planned back in 2020. The project was delivered according to the original budget while still keeping to the high standard of work and materials for which the tier one contractor is known.

Councillor John Whitby, Cabinet Member for Children’s Social Care, Learning and Skills at Derby City Council said:

“The new school building is fantastic and it’s wonderful to see the children and staff settling in so well. Oak Grange is a welcome addition to our existing education provision in Derby, but it is not only a school – it will be available as a hub for the wider community.”

Richard Fielding, area director for Morgan Sindall Construction, said:

“Now that the building on Oak Grange Primary School is complete, we hope that students and staff are already enjoying the new site and all it has to offer.

“This project was delivered not only with pupils in mind, but the whole community, and we hope to see the building busy not just during the school week but on evenings and weekends too with residents of the local area. We hope they all enjoy bringing this community hub to life through social groups and community events.”

Sarah Coleman, Headteacher at Oak Grange Primary School, said:

“It has been a privilege to contribute to the development of Oak Grange Primary School. Seeing the very first children run through the gates on the first day of our school’s history was a true delight.

“The children are enjoying making new friends and testing out all the new resources and equipment. All who have been involved in the project have created an environment where our children will thrive and grow now and for many years to follow, where our tiny seeds will become mighty trees.”


Rob McDonough, Chief Executive of East Midlands Education Trust, added:


“We have been delighted to have been able to work with Derby City Council in the opening of this new school for the Boulton Moor community. The whole project has been completed within just the last year thanks to the hard work of Derby City Council, the builders Morgan Sindall and the schools head teacher Sarah Coleman. The end result is simply stunning with each classroom now transformed into an enchanting and exciting learning environment for the children. Local parents have a school they can be proud of, taking its place rightly at the centre of this new community, and we look forward to more children joining the school as the surrounding housing development moves to completion.”

Mark Robinson, Group Chief Executive at SCAPE, said:

“The Derby Schools Programme is a great example of what collaboration and true partnership can achieve. It brings together Lungfish Architects’ award-winning design expertise, SCAPE frameworks’ speed and value for money and Morgan Sindall’s delivery excellence with the help of a strong, local supply chain. Oak Grange is a fantastic new primary school providing much needed space for the growing communities of Derby.”

Nathan Webb, Associate Architect at Lungfish Architects, said:

“We are now approaching 1,700 school places delivered for Derby City Council within the last four years, together with Morgan Sindall Construction. Working closely with the school and utilising our expertise in school design, we have been able to create an inspiring learning environment at Oak Grange that is well connected to the world outside, enhancing the learning experience for local pupils.”

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