Home   Ashford   News   Article

Norton Knatchbull grammar school in Ashford reveals new digital learning centre plan

Plans to demolish a school's art and technology block and replace it with a new digital learning centre have been revealed.

Teachers at Norton Knatchbull currently offer 210 places to Year 7 students, but will need to expand by September 2020 to be able to continue to do so.

Kent County Council (KCC) has agreed to allocate £2m to help with the expansion - and a planning application detailing the plans for the digital learning centre marks the first phase of the scheme.

How the digital learning centre could look
How the digital learning centre could look

If the school gets planning permission, it could lead to more funding from KCC for a new music and science classrooms, complete with studios and data logging labs.

Head teacher Susanne Staab said: "The funding so far is a vote of confidence from the KCC in our ability.

"The basic face of the school needs improving and we want to make our classrooms as modern and digitally relevant as possible.

David Wint, from architect Roberts Limbrick, with head teacher Susanne Staab
David Wint, from architect Roberts Limbrick, with head teacher Susanne Staab

"Visitors realise that some of the buildings are too old to be left untouched, and that we need to modernise the school and its architectural language for the 21st century."

Knatchbull's published admission number (PAN) is currently 149, but it will be able to officially increase to 210 if the expansion happens.

The project hopes to introduce more open classrooms and more up-to-date facilities for students.

The digital learning centre will feature a data logging lab and facilities necessary to teach robotics
The digital learning centre will feature a data logging lab and facilities necessary to teach robotics

The digital learning centre project manager Pat Aird said: "We are trying to move teaching into vast, open spaces.

"It will allow us to replace buildings that have started to fall into disrepair.

"We are looking at bringing in more flexibility.

"At the rate the school's growing, we need to create extra facilities and we're going to use the opportunity to provide better resources for the students and community."

Architect David Wint, from the Roberts Limbrick company, says the digital learning centre proposal is exciting.

He said: "There are not many schools who are willing to take he jump shown by these designs.

Inside the new development
Inside the new development

"To be working with such a progressive school is amazing and they are the kind of school we want to be working with because they know what they want to do and how they want to teach.

"It takes a school that wants to do it, to make it work. It will work here because they understand what they're doing. If you gave this space to other schools then it won't work as well.

"What's great about the flexible spaces is that you can have three classes sharing a space, almost working together, getting to see the process of what the other students are doing.

"This will allow students to learn from other students as well as the teachers."

To view the digital learning centre plans, visit www.ashford.gov.uk and search for the 18/01396/AS application. The deadline for public comments is Monday, October 15.

Read more


More by this author


Close This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies.Learn More