Cambourne Village College, Cambridge

About This Project

Frank Shaw Associates provided full architectural and lead consultant services for this school, the first entirely new Secondary School in Cambridgeshire for nearly 20 years.


Cambourne Village College extends the educational resource of Cambourne by providing an 11 to 16 age, 750 place school. The new school is situated on a greenfield site to the west of Cambourne. Frank Shaw Associates master planned the site to accommodate a future Primary School and an expansion of the Secondary School.


The school is a two-storey building planned as a series of curriculum wings and social spaces linked by a central circulation spine. Curriculum areas have been placed overlooking the arable farmland to the south so that the wings form protected courtyards that contain canopied locker/social spaces for each year group.


During construction, the project has allowed time to re-home and preserve the sites wildlife. The school was constructed in 40 weeks using a combination of fast track cross laminated timber panels and off-site modular construction.


Claire Coates, Headteacher said “We are all very fortunate to have access to the fantastic state-of-the-art facilities that present our pupils with a wide range of unique opportunities.”


Deputy Head, Sean Summer said “the children and staff absolutely love their new school. The feel is very solid and robust and we particularly like the amount of space and light, the wide corridors and the size of the classrooms.”


Graham Tweed, Education Capital Strategy Manager for Cambridgeshire County Council said “It takes a lot for me to offer praise so perhaps I should stay consistent and not say what a fantastic building. The effort to get there was a huge task, all were professional… we worked as a team and the building reflects our huge efforts.┬áIf you stand in the Staff Room and look across to the village you feel as though we always planned the college to be there.”





Following the completion of the existing school, Frank Shaw Associates where asked to develop a Phase 2 expansion design to allow the school to increase its accommodation from 5 Form entry (5FE) to 7 form Entry (7FE)


This included the provision of an additional teaching Wing, Drama and Dining hall, The extension of 1 existing teaching wing, A new free standing Music block And the remodeling of the existing landscape.


The new accommodation follows the proposals outlined in the school site master plan developed as part of the original Cambourne Village School planning submission 2012. In keeping with the original design philosophy the massing of the new teaching block is kept to two storeys high with the buildings mass fragmented by changes in material and with a horizontal emphasis in proportion to the surrounding planar landscape.


The larger halls have been grouped together on the northern facade to allow performance and drama activities to operate independently from the main teaching areas, reducing potential disturbance and allowing access for community events without the need to open the whole school.


The music faculty is acoustically separated from the main school but still retains a strong link. This single storey block reflects components and materials found within the existing buildings. The larger volume recital rooms are offset to echo the orientation of the main entrance with full height contrasting cladding providing visual link for visitors attending out of school drama and music activities.


The design of the new works follow the philosophy of the existing school to create an inspirational learning environment within a well developed sustainable and robust building, with the provision of flexible and adaptable spaces which will meet changing educational needs.


Related Projects



Cambridgshire County Council


Cambourne, Cambridgeshire



Education, Interiors