Foster and Partners latest Academy and its largest so far, the Thomas Deacon Academy in Peterborough, started on site today when local MP, Stewart Jackson performed the groundbreaking ceremony. Two snaking ribbons enclose shared facilities with a dramatic roof above. The undulating curves create 6 distinct mixed level colleges with sheltered communal spaces that break down the scale of the building. Traditional school lessons are combined with more flexible learning styles that will focus on supporting pupils pastoral needs. The central concourse is the academic and social heart, which also accommodates the lecture theatre and Resource Centre.
The ribbon of classrooms increases the external edge and thus maximises the potential to draw natural light and ventilation into the building. A series of glazed show-case classrooms will act as shop windows for the colleges, which each have a Network Study Area for social interaction and collective study hubs. In this way sixth form students will be encouraged to integrate with younger Academy pupils, acting as role models and developing a strong sense of college community. Teaching staff will integrate with pupils within these areas to provide discrete supervision. As part of the convergence programme for the Academy, pupils from all of the three predecessor schools have designed and painted graphics on to the recently erected site hoarding inspired by the unique design of the building.
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