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Recent Developments

Hazlegrove Stories

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In recent years, Hazlegrove 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.

2015 - Present Day

  • 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-equiped 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

Please click on the links below to see developments from previous years...

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!


Read the the Countess's Thank you Letter 

The Academic benefit...

“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.”

Some Background 

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

Building Works 

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 

Site Plan 

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.



  • Fitzjames Teaching and Learning Centre opened by HRH The Countess of Wessex
  • Temporary classrooms removed and Bastion playground area reclaimed and refurbished
  • iPads introduced into Year 7 following the successful trial
  • Introduction of Baccalaureate style curriculum with the Middle years Achievement Programme (MAP)
  • Theatre reconfiguration including new wing / balcony areas
  • New maintenance workshop
  • New automated pool cover installed resulting in significant energy savings


  • Work commenced on the new Teaching and Learning Centre
  • Year 3 classrooms in the McCreery building extended and refurbished
  • Mandarin introduced into the Curriculum for Year 5
  • Year 7 trial iPads
  • The first Hazlegrove Festival of Literature was an outstanding success
  • Significant renovation of the school's playing fields ensuring our playing surfaces are of the highest standard
  • Athletics long jump pits and tracks upgraded


  • New athletics pavillion
  • In February, the Governors announced their decision to build a new Teaching and Learning Centre to replace the temporary classrooms brought in to allow for the growth we have seen in pupil numbers.
  • Three year development programme of the sports facilities completed
  • Increased bandwidth planned to allow for future demand
  • Introduction of iPads into classroom situations
  • New Bandstand built in the Pre-Prep playground for learning and play
  • Planting of the Jubilee Wood in Autumn 2012

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.

Visit The Blog 


  • Fencing installed around the netball courts adjacent to the Pre-Prep with the courts re-marked to allow this area to be used for tennis as well as netball
  • All-weather surface on games field upgraded and eight all-weather cricket nets installed
  • 50kw photo-voltaic solar energy panels installed
  • Forest School established for the Pre-Prep children with an outdoor classroom and fire pits
  • Mini farm with chickens, piglets and raised vegetable beds completed
  • Bee-keeping re-introduced 
  • The orchard underwent an extensive re-planting
  • New equipment installed in the Adventure Playground with an off-ground circuit and solar-powered stop-clock
  • Willow house built in the Pre-Prep playground
  • Cloakroom facility built alongside the Bastion games area
  • Lighting in the theatre upgraded
  • Lower School library re-furbished


  • Major redevelopment of the Bastion games area with the old shale pitches being replaced by two distinct areas with all-weather surfaces - one multi-use carpeted area for tennis and hockey and the other a hard court space for tennis and netball with floodlighting
  • Music department extended to create a sound-proof percussion room also resulting in an additional space being available for ensemble practice
  • Pirate Ship for the Nursery playground
  • Upgrading of the boarding facilities in Lankester House to increase the bathroom facilities for the junior boys


  • New Reception classroom completed to make two classrooms for the Reception children with interconnecting doors which can be opened for joined up activities
  • Rainbow Room created in the Pre-Prep - a specialist teaching area for Science, Art , Technology and ICT to the Pre-Prep children
  • New pond and conservation area created by the golf course
  • New playground area outside the John Cann Centre
  • Main School Library re-furbished


  • Covered terrace added outside the Dining Room Annexe
  • Extension to Blackford House to create more boarding space for the girls

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