Norton Knatchbull School is a selective Grammar School based in Ashford, teaching over 1000 pupils a year. The School are dedicated to providing more life-relevant learning opportunities to students, especially around technology and how it will have an impact on their everyday lives and careers. Students had also expressed a desire for a greater technology focused approach and the School soon saw a gap that could be filled through new technology focused facilities.

This led to the idea for the Digital Learning Centre back in 2016. The School bid for funding to create a new Digital Learning Centre that would enable teachers to bring the adoption of technology into the everyday curriculum and support the delivery of science and computing and other STEM subjects. The bid was successful and they started working with architects Roberts Limbrick to develop the design for the new space. The School hopes the delivery of a new Digital Learning Centre will inspire more of their students to take up STEM subjects and provide an exciting place to learn, while bringing technology into everyday learning.

This vision has come to fruition today, as the first phase of this scheme, delivered by Abbott Construction, has achieved practical completion, ready for pupils to start using in September. The £2m basic needs expansion provides 5 new classrooms, including two exemplar science labs and prep room on the ground floor and three specialist computing labs on the first floor. The classrooms have been designed to provide flexibility for both staff and students and engender collaboration during lessons, creating a unique environment in which to learn. The new block has been constructed using steel frame and pre-cast concrete planks.

The next phase of the Digital Learning Centre, once approved, will see an extension to the new building as well as a permanent link to the existing school being created. This will continue Norton Knatchbull’s vision to deliver a modern, interactive learning environment.