Forest Gate Community School Expansion

As part of the London Borough of Newham’s secondary school place expansion programme, the outstanding performing Forest Gate Community School has been expanded from 7 forms of entry to 9 in order to accommodate a total of 1,350 students.

New teaching accommodation has been inserted at the rear of the school with a four storey 2,200m2 infill building which links through existing corridors on upper floors creating a ‘superblock’. A double height dining space at ground floor provides a new heart space and a new core improves circulation and accessibility.

External space for students is substantially increased in area and improved with an ‘amenity deck’ on top of new changing rooms next to the school’s sport pitches. Boundary treatment is softened with landscaping and lighting.

The expansion scheme augments the incremental growth of the school from the original 1965 Colquhoun & Miller three storey, raised podium design. The infill is clad with a bronze metal panel system with vertical fins creating deep window reveals and providing a strong visual order to the irregular fenestration.

“The school expansion addresses an urgent need for high quality school places in the borough. Among our many achievements, I am most proud that disadvantaged pupils do better than non-disadvantaged pupils at other schools…. This project means the school will be able to support even more families in our wonderfully diverse community”

Simon Elliott, Headteacher

  • Client:London Borough of Newham
  • Location:Forest Gate, London
  • GIA:2,240 sq m
  • Status:Completed July 2020
  • Consultants:MLM Group (Structure and Civils), BSE 3d (M&E), Hoare Lea (Fire Consultant), Stroma (BREEAM), ME Landscape Studio (Soft Landscape)
  • Contractor:Neilcott Construction Ltd
  • Photography:Simon Kennedy
  • Awards:Winner of Education Estates Refurbishment of the Year Award 2021 and shortlisted for AJ Retrofit Awards 2020