We are fortunate to have outstanding facilities at Hazlegrove and the school has seen a continual programme of investment in its buildings and facilities to ensure pupils have the best start possible both now and in the future. Below are some of the highlights of our recent developments.
2012 - Present Day
Fitzjames Teaching and Learning Centre opened by HRH The Countess of Wessex
Boarders' joint common room created in the heart of the school (previously girls' changing room)
New entrance and lobby for Lankester boarding house (junior boys)
Large and well-equipped girls' changing rooms developed within the Dolphin Sports and Arts centre
Swimming pool heating, air handling and lighting systems replaced with energy efficient systems
Swimming pool viewing area developed and an additional entrance created
Sports Hall lights replaced with energy efficient LED system
Fully equipped Food Technology teaching area developed in the old workshop
Giant outdoor chime bars installed in the Pre-Prep playground
Significant renovation of the school's playing fields ensuring our playing surfaces are of the highest standard
New Bandstand built in the Pre-Prep playground for learning and play
Planting of Jubilee Wood
The Fitzjames Teaching and Learning Centre
It was a delight to watch HRH The Countess of Wessex taking the time to talk to so many children, engaging them in meaningful conversation, when she came to open the Fitzjames building in September, 2014.
The Countess watched performances from different groups of children in courtyard and in the new building before visiting the new classrooms. She was particularly interested in quizzing the Year 7 pupils about their iPads and finding out exactly how these are enhancing their education! The whole school then attempted to raise the roof with a resounding rendition of the anthem 'Believe', led by the Fitzjames Choir.
To open the building, the Countess switched on a device whereby two miniature Hazlegrove pupils wound up the curtain revealing a commomorative plaque - an unusual way to open a building and one which prompted spontaneous laughter from Her Royal Highness!
“We are very excited about this building because, as well as being an architectural and constructional triumph, we believe it makes a clear and strategic statement about the future of education. Its semi-open-plan design allows pupils to learn with an increasing amount of independence, breaking out of the classroom and utilising the technological resources that they have, literally at their fingertips. This will enable them to become equipped for the future as confident, independent and inter-dependent learners.
We hope these young people will carry with them all they have experienced at Hazlegrove into their future education and into the working environment, as they take their place in society, both within this country and beyond our shores."
Headmaster, Richard Fenwick
The Conceptual Design
The building was conceived as the new academic hub of the school, featuring a range of spaces including classrooms, breakout areas and a large central resource space to offer a flexible blend of learning environments. Designed by London based architects Feilden Fowles, it replaces several temporary classroom blocks, enhancing the historical site and defining a cornerstone to the academic school campus.
Using a Victorian formality, the façade aims to establish a civic presence and emphasise the role of the courtyard in front. Materially, tones and textures of the building reference the existing, handsome red brick walls flanking Hazlegrove House.
Educational theorist Bart McGettrick was consulted during the concept design, leading to the exploration of ecclesiastical and monastic typologies, believed to create successful spaces that support modern educational methods. This research enforced the inclusion of cloister spaces, break out areas, the courtyard and the space over the central resource area.
Praise for the architects, Fielden Fowles, from David Grandorge, Architect, Photographer and Critic:
“I have to say how incredibly impressed I am with what you've achieved in Somerset.
The placement of the building is fantastic. The school can be thought of as a small city - I do not mean this poetically, but analogously. You have made a beautiful public square that makes sense of the existing street that leads to it. It is a truly public space as it is fit for performance. The children's performance of lines from a Shakespeare play will stay with me.
The light, feeling and execution of the shared entrance space is highly accomplished. The stair/seats are a compelling device, well conceived and executed. The spatial parti and promenade to the classrooms and slack space is a subtle distillation of the entrance sequence of Schinkel's Altes Museum.
The steelwork is very elegantly detailed - how steel should be detailed - it's strength and consequent slenderness should be exploited.
Your hard work and tenacity have been worth it.”
Watch the building evolve - 15 months in less than 4 minutes!
The Governors Support
In 2012, the Hazlegrove Governors were excited to announce the development of a new Teaching and Learning Centre, creating a building which has now become the new academic hub of the school, highlighting the importance we place on this aspect of school life. There are six new classrooms, a learning support department and two break-out areas to facilitate independent study. We believe this will provide a future-proofed environment for learning that will serve the school very well for many years to come.
The Artist's Drawings
Work on the site started during the summer holidays in 2013 which meant much of the initial ground breaking and digging took place before term started in September, keeping disruption for the pupils to a minimum.
Work continued throughout the 2013/2014 academic year with a frenzy of activity to make sure the classrooms were able to be used at the start of term in September 2014.
Having been consulted by the architects, Fielden Fowles, during the design process, pupils watched with added interest as this project became a reality.
Ground Floor Plans
The new building is located next to the old Woodland classrooms (formerly Geography and History) and can be seen in the centre at the top of the image below. Geography and History are now housed within the Fitzjames building and the old Woodland classrooms are now home to the staff room.
The Jubilee Wood
Following her accession to the throne in 1952, Queen Elizabeth II has reigned as Monarch for the last sixty years and Hazlegrove is proud to be marking this occasion with the creation of a Jubilee Wood. This will be planted by the Hazlegrove community, providing inspiration to its current pupils and as a lasting legacy for generations to come.
The chosen site is the five acres of land that lie between the playing fields and the A303.
Hazlegrove, which opened in 1947, is part of King’s Bruton, an ancient school whose history dates back to 1519. During the reign of Henry VIII, the school was closed with the dissolution of the monasteries and was then re-opened by Edward VI in 1550 as a Royal Foundation.
The Layout of these Woods
Central to the design of the Jubilee Wood are sixty flowering crab apples, each one representing a year in the reign of our Queen. These trees will be arranged in a circle, standing like handmaidens in a Royal Court and will be approached via an avenue of trees. Standing on its own on the far side of the circle will be a solitary oak grown from an acorn of The King John Oak, a much celebrated tree that once dominated the grounds of Hazlegrove. Around the crab apple circle, 2,500 young indigenous trees will be added. This will be a mixed planting to represent the rich diversity of species found within our native woodland.
A Special Place
Within the circle, a large open grass area will provide a multifunctional space to be used for summer sports and camping, as well as for outdoor learning and special events.
In conjunction with tree planting, banks and bunds have been created which will be planted up with wild flowers to attract a wide variety of butterflies and other insects. Also, an ancient pond has been renovated to create a suitable habitat for indigenous amphibians and aquatic insects. Beneath the tree canopy, as it develops, woodland flowers will be planted.
Within the wood, surrounded by a high bund, is an area for the collection of green waste for compost production. This will be used on the flower beds within the school and on the vegetable beds within the school farm.
Bio-Diversity and Education
The Jubilee Wood will be instrumental in raising awareness among our children about the rich diversity of plants and animals to be found within the local countryside. As future custodians of our natural heritage, Hazlegrove pupils will be able to draw on this significant educational resource now and for decades to come.