Winterstoke Hundred Academy opens £30.5m net-zero school

  • 25th January 2024

The three-storey building is the first fully-carbon-neutral school in the area

Weston’s Winterstoke Hundred Academy has marked the new year by throwing open the doors to North Somerset’s first net-zero school.

Winterstoke Hundred first opened in Beaufighter Road in 2020, but work has been taking place over the past two years to build a 900-pupil second campus at Locking Parklands.

That work – carried out by contractor, Kier, to specifications set out by North Somerset Council and the Cabot Learning Federation, which Winterstoke Hundred is part of – is now complete, with students having moved into their new classrooms.

The three-storey building has been carefully designed to meet rigorous environmental standards – making it the first fully-carbon-neutral school in the area.

Solar panels covering the roof will generate electricity inside classrooms and send power to the National Grid, providing green energy for the school, as well as the wider community.

The 80,000sq m building also boasts a much-sought BREEAM ‘excellent’ rating for energy efficiency and 10% biodiversity net gain, which will protect and promote plants and wildlife.

Heidi Clement, Cabot Learning Federation head of projects and estates, said: “The expansion of Winterstoke Hundred Academy is a major development and a huge financial investment that further enables our trust to meet the educational needs of young people and provide them with a fantastic environment to learn in.

Students and staff have now moved into the building

“This project has been a four-year partnership between Keir, North Somerset Council, and AtkinsRéalis, and the buildings and finish look amazing and will leave a lasting legacy for all those involved.”

Tony Searle, executive principal of the Cabot Learning Federation, added: “We have worked tirelessly alongside our North Somerset Council partners to deliver an exceptional building on behalf of our community.

“With pupils now moving into the new buildings, we are excited about the educational opportunities that we will be able to afford our current cohort, and those who join the academy for decades to come.

“This investment in high-quality facilities and appointments reinforces our commitment to deliver the best possible education for our students.”

And Councillor Catherine Gibbons, deputy leader of North Somerset Council and executive member for children’s services, families, and life long learning, said: “Winterstoke Hundred Academy’s new building is designed to achieve some of the highest standards of sustainability, raising the bar for what can be delivered in our region.

The expansion will help to meet growing demand for school places in the area

“The quality of construction is clear just from looking at the school and we are immensely proud of what we have been able to accomplish alongside our partners at CLF and Kier.”

Funded through Homes England’s Housing Infrastructure Fund, the Winterstoke Hundred Academy expansion provides new school places and facilities, meeting the needs of growing local communities.

And the opening coincided with a new principal taking up the reins at the school.

Matthew Randle has previously taught at large secondary schools in Leicestershire, Somerset, and Bristol.

Most recently, he held the position of vice principal with CLF Post 16 in Bristol, where he built significant experience in safeguarding and leading the quality of education.

He said of his new role: “I’ve been really looking forward to welcoming our students into the new building and starting to work with the local community.

“It’s an incredible building and we feel very lucky to be moving in to our second site.

“This is a significant investment in education in North Somerset which will enable us to build on our curriculum and really excel in many specialist areas as we work towards a full capacity.”

The opening comes as Matthew Randle takes over the role of principal at the school

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