Canterbury Mills Primary Academy


Project Details

London Borough of Croydon

Project Manager
Mott MacDonald


Willmott Dixon Construction

£13.5 million

Contract Period
58 weeks

Procurement Type
Two stage design and build

Form of Contract
NEC 3 Option A

Classrooms designed to educate 60 pupils per space with no desks had to be seen!

The SCF continuously encourages innovation and this Canterbury Mills Primary Academy demonstrates forward thinking and questions design solutions as they have always previously been.
Canterbury Mills rips up the rule book on how to design a primary school and starts again. The two head teachers for this school were very passionate on how they envisaged their design of their school to be. This was an exciting opportunity for the designers to really use their imagination for this two stage design and build brief.

The Academy differentiates itself from the rest by having an open classroom with 60 pupils. The teaching design is not for a teacher to be
standing at the front whilst the pupils sit behind their desks listening to what they are being taught. Instead the pupils are encouraged to use their intuitive on how to find the information out on the topic. Whether it be sitting on an I Pad or finding out from a book, by themselves or in small groups. The classroom is set up to inspire thinking and make learning comfortable and fun. The added benefit of this also is that children requiring additional needs do not feel isolated but included in the set up of the classroom.

The results speak for themselves. Attendance, school reports and the general enthusiasm of the children have all improved dramatically.

Is this the design of schools for the future?

Social Value Offering by the frameworks to the Academy

  • Donated materials to the local nursery for learning and play equipment.
  • Redecorated a local community art hall for an exhibition for ‘Croydon and me’.
  • Invited children from the existing schools on tours of the building.
  • Had a number of students from local schools for work experience. They were set a challenge to make the highest structure which could hold the weight of an egg, using only spaghetti and blue tac. Each item used had a cost to it and they had to work within a set budget.
  • Daily litter picks of the nearby park and play areas to make them a more inviting environment for the local community.
  • As a gift to the existing school, tarmac was relaid to improve the playground for the children.
  • We repaired and cleaned up the remains and damage of a fire that was started by vandals outside the nursery the next door so the nursery was able to continue as usual.
  • Leaving a positive community legacy.
Average AIRZero harm/ No RIDDOR’s
Average CCS Score44 out of 50
Waste diverted from landfill99%
Added value & best practice achieved£2.71m
Overall performance9/10
ContractGateway 2 Planning Gateway 3 Contract Agreement Variation
Time58 weeks58 weeksNIL

Guy Dawes – Framework Manager

Erika Buckenham – Assistant Framework Coordinator