Cottenham Primary School


Cambridgeshire County Council


1,328m² extension, 500m² demolitions, extensive refurbishments




completed August 2015

Cottenham Primary School

Cottenham Primary School is a 2.8 Form entry with 600 pupils accommodated in buildings dating from 1967. The school had evolved piecemeal over time which was creating operational problems. 

The school timetable had become disrupted because there was no defined circulation through the early years classrooms or the main hall. The hall was not large enough for whole school assemblies, and the existing 1960s corridor linking the main hall to the newer classroom block at the rear of the school was narrow, resulting in bottle necks due to the volume of pupils moving through the school during the day. In addition the staff and administration areas were undersized, there was no secure interview room close to the main entrance, there was no hygiene room or dedicated sick bay and the staff toilet provision was insufficient for the number of staff and inconveniently located.

The aim of the project was to resolve these problems and allow the school to operate as a full three-form entry to accommodate 630 pupils. 

Four existing reception classrooms have been demolished to make way for a new two storey classroom block on the footprint of the existing school. Internal areas were refurbished and remodelled to improve facilities to meet the recommendations of BB99 and allow the removal of mobile classrooms from the site.

Our design consolidates the early years and infants together in the single storey ‘Octagon’ pavilion to the rear of the site. The reception area benefits from a secure dedicated access, and a safe & secure external play area within the central courtyard.

The two storey replacement classroom block, positioned at the front of the school, accommodates nine new classrooms for Key Stage 2 which includes years 4, 5 and 6. It provides a large extended hall space, group rooms and ancillary support areas. There is an increase in games court and soft play provision and some general re-organisation of the external spaces to reflect the new and improved school organisation. 

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