Tormead School – Sixth Form Centre

This cutting-edge sixth form centre has directly led to a very positive impact on learning outcomes and wellbeing.

The Brief

Tormead is a leading independent day school in Guildford, dedicated to delivering unique and innovative education to a range of school years. The school was founded in 1905 with the intention of bringing first-class education to local girls, who were often discouraged from taking part in the schooling system. Due to its history, breaking the mould and paving new ground is crucial to Tormead’s DNA. 

Together, we embarked on a visionary journey to reimagine its sixth-form spaces. The vision was clear: fashion a central hub that delicately balances the realms of school and university—an enclave distinct from the rest of the school and yet intricately connected. The directive emphasised creating a relaxed environment conducive to high-calibre learning, focusing on smoothing the transition from sixth form to university. 

The Designs

Throughout this transformative process, the stakeholders emphasised incorporating the students’ voices, who were proactive and articulate in expressing their preferences. Design workshops were integral to this collaborative effort, ensuring that the students’ insights played a central role in shaping the new space and fostering an environment tailored to their needs. 

It was crucial that the resulting space met academic requirements and prioritised the students’ well-being by making them feel safe, empowering them with a sense of control, and enhancing their overall understanding of belonging within the school community.

Vision to Reality

Envoplan, commissioned for the design and build, faced numerous challenges. The existing space lacked flexibility, natural light, and accessibility; improving each element was pivotal in the designs. To achieve the vision within the designs, the construction team opened the existing walls and introduced glazed elevations to brighten the spaces and effectively manage natural light.
 
 
From wooden ceiling baffles in the main common room to acoustic panelling in the lecture theatre, acoustic treatments played a crucial role in the designs. Furthermore, the furniture booths were acoustically treated, creating a harmonious blend of aesthetics and functionality.
 
The redevelopment of the tower staircase provided a formalised entry into the sixth form, improving accessibility. Given that the stairway acts as the first point of contact into the sixth form, it needed to serve as an excellent first impression, setting the standards and expectations for the academic and collaborative work within the sixth-form space. Additionally, the design incorporated multiple working zones, including a university-style lecture theatre, to enhance the learning experience.
 
Lecture Style Classroom

The Impact

Students, teachers, and Envoplan alike were delighted with the transformative results. The redesigned spaces managed natural light effectively, creating a brighter atmosphere. The innovative acoustic treatments made the space more approachable, instilling comfort and safety. The accessibility to the sixth-form improved, and the redeveloped tower staircase became a symbolic entry point to the sixth form. 
 
 Teachers praised the spaces for encouraging experimentation and offering a departure from traditional classroom structures. The contemporary and long-lasting aesthetics complemented the new natural light, ensuring the spaces remain fashionable for years. David Boyd, Headteacher at Tormead, admired Envoplan’s design quality and imaginative approach. Mr Boyd contributed enthusiastically to the design process, resulting in a completed project which drew the admiration of all stakeholders, and especially the sixth form girls who have made best use of the post-16 provision’.
The project is a testament to Tormead’s commitment to breaking the mould and creating innovative educational environments.

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Tormead School – Sixth Form Centre

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