Ysgol Bae Baglan
Considered a ‘super school,’ Ysgol Bae Baglan is one of the first all-through schools in Wales. The school caters for 300 primary pupils, 1,100 secondary pupils and a fully integrated 100 pupil additional learning (ALN) needs unit.
The £38.5 million project received equal funding from the Welsh Government and Neath Port Talbot County Borough council and represents the biggest single investment in school infrastructure in the history of the county borough.
The build was managed by the in-house project management team of Neath Port Talbot Council’s property and regeneration section, with the council working closely alongside main contractors Bouygues UK and architects Stride Treglown.
The new campus integrates primary and secondary phase education from 3-16 years and replaces four existing schools in the area. The school is located on a very flat site with rolling hills forming a backdrop. Landscape and building designs were developed together to provide a seamless and coordinated series of events with its built form reflecting the character of the nearby hills, allowing it to fit with the local character of the site.
The school is divided into three teaching wings, all directly linked to a large heart space. The three teaching wings have then been used to create a welcoming courtyard that provides respites from prevailing wind. This is visually playful with coloured glazed panels in the curtain walling, suggesting a peaceful wild flower meadow. Way finding and colour schemes throughout the school replicate these colours, complimenting other multi-sensory features to help visual and hearing impaired pupils to sense their environment through sounds, lighting levels, colours and textures.
In the classroom, pupils have access to tablets, PC’s and Macs to use digital notebook software and storytelling apps to create interactive reports. Biometric processes are also used to support cashless catering, library software and registration systems. Outdoor facilities at the school include playground areas, grassed and all-weather synthetic pitches and an athletics track. Parents can keep-up-to-date through the school website, social media and via email and mobile messaging, while the traditional paper student planner has been replaced by an online app.
Managing the start and end of the school day is crucial for the school as it gives the opportunity for pupils to meet before the school days starts. The central hub has therefore been designed for flexibility allowing the space to expand, contract and accommodate a variety of activities. Opened by school patron, actor Michael Sheen, the large performance hall has already established itself as a well-loved, active community theatre space.
The school has achieved a BREEAM rating of excellent and an energy performance certificate of A. Classroom elevations are located away from the noisy road allowing them all to be naturally ventilated. There are over 2,000m² of photovoltaic panels on the roof producing 13.85 kWh/m2 per annum and there is a large transpired solar collection, which passively pre-heats air to warm the sports hall, reducing running costs.
The entire school is open to the community after school hours and is widely used for a variety of cultural, learning, social and sporting events.
Whitehead Building Services
Established in 1978, Whitehead has built a reliable, stable, and consistent reputation for working to the highest standards and providing the best possible value.
This year sees us celebrate our 40th Anniversary and over the years we have built up an extensive portfolio of projects providing Mechanical and Electrical Building Services, from Design and Installation, to Maintenance and Management.
Our business ethos is a simple one – recruit and train the best people, put safety at the core of everything we do and expect high standards – quality workmanship then follows and we keep the best people working for us, not just for one project but for years.
Whitehead are a privately-owned business with our Headquarters in Newport, South Wales, and Branches in Bristol and Exeter. We are proud of our independence and we make it a policy to employ local people. More than that, we provide an environment for them to develop their careers – from apprentices through to the highest level of management.
Our low staff turnover ensures we retain an experienced, skilful workforce that makes us one of the UK’s most respected M&E companies. With training at the core of everything we do and safety our No.1 priority you can rely on us to take our responsibilities seriously.
Whitehead are specialists in providing M & E Installations in Education Establishments, and over the past 8 years, we have completed in excess of 300,000m2 of educational spaces providing over 40,000 Student places.