Urban&Civic engaged with colleagues and families at Christ Church CofE Primary school over 12 months prior to the new school opening to understand the needs of the current school and to plan a transition for a school set to expand and relocate during a pandemic. The new school at Middlebeck is approximately two miles from the existing school site.

Many families in Newark choose to travel to school on foot which promotes a healthy lifestyle. During the summer term, Urban&Civic supported a walking bus and picnic to help children navigate the route between the existing school and the new building. The teachers integrated the walking trip into the curriculum by discussing road safety, history, ecology before departing the school with all children wearing hi-vis jackets. Children could identify their new classrooms and outdoor learning spaces before breaking up for the summer holiday.

Our partnership with Christ Church School includes building strong relationships with Nottinghamshire County Council and The Diocese of Southwell and Nottingham who will see the school form part of their portfolio of schools. During the construction phase, Urban&Civic facilitated regular site visits for colleagues in the partnership to observe building progress. Since relocating to the new site the school has doubled the children on roll, now at
84 and we are continuing to work in partnership to encourage children to travel to school in active ways.

We’ve tried to make it fun for the children. It’s been a really challenging time for everyone and children have been so resilient in the lead up to the transition. Building relationships with the parents at the gates (through our masks), it’s been so rewarding to work with them to create a vision for what the new school will be. Also on a practical level to work with the architects, the designers, and the builders has been really exciting.”