Work has begun on the new Abbey Farm Educate Together Primary School in North Swindon, designed by HLM Architects working with Reds10.

Abbey Farm primary school for the Department for Education (DfE) will be operated by the Educate Together Academy Trust, who provide an ethical and values curriculum suited to a rapidly changing world at four primary schools in the South West.

The school, which is aiming to achieve net-zero operation carbon, is the first in the Department for Education’s (DfE) £3 billion ‘Off-site Schools Framework’. The programme runs for four years and will deliver the next generation of off-site schools in England, supporting a wider government move towards modern methods of construction (MMC).

The new school, which is set to open in September 2022, is located on a 4.6-acre (1.9-hectare) site. It will accommodate 460 pupils from the local community and is part of a wider residential-led mixed-use development by Redrow.

Paul Ruddick, Chaiman of Reds10, said: “We are particularly proud to see this project come to fruition under the banner of the government’s ambitious new strategy for off-site schools. The building is a future-proofed, sustainable facility equipped with SMART building technology, enabling it to achieve the highest principles in energy efficiency and management. This sets a high benchmark for all future schools under this programme.”

Claire Wakelin, London Studio Director, HLM Architects, said: “We are pleased to see this project advance to the next stage of development. Our strategic design approach has been centred on the creation of a high-quality, safe and secure environment for pupils that maximises the opportunity for learning and socialising. Biodiversity was also a major inspiration, resulting in an environment that seamlessly integrates into the surrounding landscape.”

Educate Together Academy Trust will shortly announce dates for public meetings, expected to be held in September or earlier if restrictions allow.

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