Architectural proposals for the University of Cambridge Primary School (UCPS) located as part of the North West Cambridge Development have been approved today by the local planning authorities. 

The primary school is a circular building with a central courtyard that incorporates innovative design with learning clusters, flexible teaching rooms, communal areas and play spaces. It has been designed by Marks Barfield Architects, creators of the London Eye, in close consultation with the University’s Faculty of Education and leading educational experts. The school will create a democratic, optimum learning environment that meets the educational needs of the children and the overall vision of the school as a world-leading education research facility. 

Heather Topel, Deputy Project Director for the North West Cambridge Development said: “The primary school will be the first building to open as part of the development in September 2015, the start of the academic year before residents arrive. It will be a natural meeting point for local families and children, and is therefore an important part of building the community at the North West Cambridge Development. We are delighted that the local authorities and neighbours have been supportive of the design proposals for what will be a flagship part of the scheme.” 

The UCPS will governed by a charitable trust, UTS Cambridge. The school will be a mixed-ability co-educational school for children aged three – 11 and it will be highly inclusive where pupil diversity is welcomed and children will be encouraged and enabled to excel. It will not have a specific religious character, nor a particular faith ethos. 

John Rallison, Chair of the UTS Cambridge said: “The school will be the first primary level university training school in England and it will deliver teaching, teacher-training and educational research. Closely linked to the University of Cambridge’s Faculty of Education, it will join the well-established network of partner schools which work together to provide a PGCE programme that is rated by Ofsted as outstanding. The school will focus on exemplary teaching, high quality governance and innovative learning practice. The Trust is delighted that these plans have been approved. They are high-quality, innovative and inclusive, reflecting the planned character of University of Cambridge Primary School.” 

The three-form entry primary school will open in phases from September 2015 and will serve the development site and a local catchment.