St. Mary’s College

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St. Mary’s College (SMC) has recently completed phase one of a major £19.5m project as part of the Building Schools for the Future programme. As well as remodelling and refurbishing their existing building to provide places for 1,650 students, they now have a brand new, state-of-the-art sixth form that will provide places for over 350 students.

St Mary’s College is a Roman Catholic mixed secondary school, and is consistently the top performing school in the area. In fact, it’s currently ranked number 1 nationally on the DfE league of similar schools for 5+ GCSE’s A*- C (including English and Maths).

By meeting with SMC, listening to their ideas and working together to plan possible designs, Claughtons were able to come up with concepts that really suited their staff and students. We worked alongside the school, the project’s architects Capita Symonds, and construction firm, Morgan Sindall, to refurbish the college’s building and create the new sixth form building, SM6.

The aim for SM6 was to provide university standard facilities for it’s 6th form students, as David Claughton, Director at Claughtons, explains: “St. Mary’s wanted SM6 to be a grown up, sophisticated and relaxed environment. The ground floor was designed to be a drop-in learning space for students to both socialise and work on their portable devices outside of the classroom. This area also incorporates a media wall, library, soft seating, benches at different working heights and an SM6 bistro area where students can relax with a coffee between lessons.”

SM6 also features state-of-the-art, specialist student accommodation. The entire first floor is dedicated to science, and each lab has a unique blend of theory and practical learning areas with bespoke workstations that are fully serviced for all experimentation. There’s an integrated creative arts, design and technology area that has been developed to industry standards, including jewellery making equipment, laser cutters, digital embroidery and Mac design suites.

Sophie Teasdale, Director of Operations at St. Mary’s College, comments “We had a very clear vision for our brand new SM6 building, and it was crucial that we worked with a company who could translate that through the furniture design. Claughtons were involved at a very early stage and worked closely with all the relevant departments to understand their requirements. We are absolutely thrilled with the end result and the standard of the products and workmanship. We are keen to continue to work in partnership with Claughtons as we develop other areas of our site.”

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