Soar Valley

Children’s Hospital School

The Children’s Hospital School is a £1.8m remodel/refurbishment of Willow Bank School, an old infant Primary School. The aim for the Children’s Hospital School is to ensure that children and young people with ill health can attend and enjoy School. The School helps to develop self-confidence and skills to successfully deal with significant life changes and the challenges continuing ill health will present as they enter Adulthood.


The Children’s Hospital School provides an existing single storey building at circa 1300m2 built in the 1950’s. The fabric of the building is brick built with an un-insulated mainly flat asphalt roof. The building is single glazed and is heated from a boiler sited in an adjacent building. The school had previously received essential adaptation from an infant school to a secondary school but was falling short of meeting the needs and aspirations of the school and its cohort.


The BSF Funding has allowed the adaptation of the facility to provide a secure safe stimulating environment which encourages learning, risk taking and problem solving for students from KS1 – KS4 with health problems. To maximise the available funding, the main design philosophy was to work with the existing fabric of the building to provide a fit for purpose flexible teaching facility, the enhanced environment has improved the teaching facilities and the associated support spaces whilst also providing flexibility for different types of teaching and different group sizes. Practical solutions combined with innovative and creative thinking provided the final solution.

Key aspects of the work included:

  • Renovation and improvement to the fabric of the existing roof to improve air tightness and reduce heat loss.
  • Replacement of all external windows and doors improving air tightness and reducing heat loss. Solar glazing to improve comfort.
  • Replacement or improvement of roof lights to enhance the environment.
  • Alterations to internal partition walls to create open and flexible spaces.
  • Improved M&E provision for improved heating and lighting provision.
  • Addition of a canopy over the external dining area to create a year-round usable space.
  • New ceiling finishes and floor finishes, using colour to create a unified feel in the school and to identify different areas and expressions.
  • Additional stepped access in front of the main entrance for improved access and a covered walkway from visitor/student drop off parking to create a clear identity
  • Resurfacing and marking of hard play area
  • New fitted and loose furniture providing adaptable solutions to allow the space to evolve and transform itself as the school wishes
  • New kitchen area linked to the Student flex heart space to enable nutritional support and advice
  • Relocation of ICT suite to reduce heat gain and the increased carbon caused by comfort cooling.
  • Teaching areas and circulation spaces receive a mixture of natural daylight through replaced roof-lights or ceiling rafts and new lighting to create a more welcoming environment with improved acoustics
  • Direct link between the heart of the school Student Flex area and new covered external dining area
  • Improved office and meeting spaces
  • Dedicated sports provision through sports hall floor, gym space and improved external facilities
  • New powerful ICT infrastructure

The result of the works is a more efficient and sustainable school with a cohesive, responsive teaching environment. The school now provides clean, calm and unified spaces and will contribute to students’ recovery, by providing a secure and stimulating education environment and a sense of normality

back to main project page