It will form a key part of the Monkerton and Hill Barton Masterplan on the edge of Exeter
A new primary school on the edge of Exeter will be designed as ‘a black matrix box in which binary coding breaks the ‘cyber space’ as a series of vertical windows’.
Known as Digital Primary Academy Monkerton, the newly built primary school and nursery for 3-11-year-olds, would have a total of 480 students in the primary school and an additional 60 young learners in the nursery.
A formal planning application for the school, which forms a key part of the Monkerton and Hill Barton Masterplan, where 2,500 new homes will be built, has now been submitted to Exeter City Council planners.
The school would form part of the Cornerstone Academy Trust, who are already responsible for Broadclyst Primary School, Westclyst Primary School and Monkerton Community Primary School.
It would be built on a site that sits between St Luke’s Science and Sport College playing fields (Chadwick Field) and private homes adjacent to Cumberland Way with Hollow Lane to the south.
A statement submitted with the application says: “Monkerton will have a focus on being fully inclusive and having unlimited aspirations which embrace technology as part of everyday teaching.
“Aims for the new Digital Academy include delivering the National Curriculum in an exciting, innovative and creative way, to encourage children to develop as creative thinkers, inquisitive questioners and avid problem solvers, and to promote a challenging media-rich learning environment where children learn to collaborate effectively at all levels.”
The application adds: “An important part the school’s identity is the role of technology in everyday teaching to create a challenging media-rich learning environment. This has been incorporated into creating spaces within the school that enable this approach to teaching, however it was felt that this could be reflected in how the school is presented externally.
“This has been reflected in the facade articulation of the design. The school building has been conceived as a black matrix box, in which binary coding breaks the ‘cyber space’ as a series of vertical windows. Key spaces within the school have been highlighted with wrap around connections, abstracting ideas of a motherboard to help give the school urban legibility and identity.
“This manifests with a solid brick plinth and black cladding above. Keys spaces and coding highlights (window reveals) are detailed in turquoise. The colour highlights reflect the schools branding while also reminiscent of computer ‘green screen’.”
The main entrance to the school would be off a newly constructed access road off Cumberland Way which forms part of a new housing development to the North of the site, and the application adds: “Consideration has been given to creating a simple one way parking system which allows for easy parking and drop-off minimising disruption at the beginning and end of the school day, reducing a build-up of traffic outside the school.
“There are 36 standard car parking provided and in promoting efficient drop-off and pick-up, a large drop-off bay has been included in the design which can accommodate around five vehicles at any one time.”
A large multi-use games area is also included as part of the plans.
The application concludes: “It is considered that the scheme offers a high quality learning environment with a contemporary aesthetic, a strong response to its setting and consideration sensitive to the adjacent housing development that would make it a valuable contributor to the area.
“This will be an in-demand school for the Monkerton area to improve the learning environment and consequentially future prospects of young people. It is also crucial to manage increased student numbers from the residential development which could total almost 300 new homes, which form part of larger planned growth of 2,500 planned homes for the area.”
Exeter City Council planners will determine the fate of the application at a later date.