Today, pupils at Dean Close School returned to a brand new home, a new Day House Village which can accommodate up to 240 day pupils.   Architects, landscape architects and interior designers have worked in partnership with the Dean Close over the last two years to deliver a bespoke development ready to meet the needs of day pupils in the coming years.  The building focuses on providing a homely environment with pupil wellbeing at the centre as well as providing tailored spaces for work within a modern, aesthetic environment.

Designed with a ‘New England’ influence, the buildings are timber facing and include chalet-style windows, vaulted ceilings and feature lighting.  Each house is distinctly different through its unique choice of colour scheme and furnishings and is entered through a light, airy double height atrium.

The brief focused on an open plan design to encourage relationships across all year groups, with peer mentoring and support. All houses have a large, comfy common room suitable for whole house meetings, a modern, well-equipped kitchen and cosy snug areas for small groups.  Spacious changing rooms, designated lockers and washrooms complete the ground floor.

Upstairs, a glass balcony leads to two separate, open plan workspaces for the Sixth Form & Lower School with dedicated IT workspaces, a collaborative boardroom style space as well as private study areas.  A bright meeting/tutorial room with giant screen is ideal for private conferences.

Outside, the grounds have been professionally landscaped and with attractive planting including mountain ash and acers.

Housemistress of Hatherley, Kate Milne, said: “The new Hatherley has made a huge difference to the school experience of the girls. Such an open, light building, with warm, comfortable communal areas and quiet, well facilitated working spaces encourages a strong sense of community as well as a balance of work, quiet time and socialising. Moving in has been an exciting time and the girls are thrilled to have access to a stylish and modern kitchen, bathroom and seminar room, as well as their comfy common room with its huge flat screen TV and speakers! It really is a home from home.”

Headmaster, Bradley Salisbury, said: “I am delighted with the spaces that have been created for our pupils to work and rest during the school day. The exciting part now begins as we watch the buildings come alive as the rooms are filled with the daily comings and goings of the young people. It is my hope that these amazing facilities will help our pupils to build friendships across year groups and houses; enable staff, parents and pupils to work more collaboratively and for there to be lots of joyful moments to punctuate the business of learning.”