Practical completion achieved for Talbot Heath’s innovative STEAM Hub

Practical completion achieved for Talbot Heath’s innovative STEAM Hub

19 August 2019

Part of its new curriculum vision for the future included the construction of an innovative STEAM Hub to support flexible and interdisciplinary learning for all ages.

Designed by Western Design Architects, and constructed by Acheson Construction, the STEAM Hub combines state of the art equipment with flexible learning spaces including a 600-seat auditorium, Art and Textiles studios, Design Technology lab, Robotic and Electronic workshops, Drama studios, immersive interactive walls and holograms, a covered swimming pool with changing rooms, exhibition space and classroom/training rooms.

The opening of a covered pool facility will allow the creation of a specialist Swim Academy in partnership with Poole Swimming Club, who will also use the pool as an additional training hub for their own medal-winning teams.

Opening in September 2019, the centre will be made available to schools, businesses and community groups outside of school hours. The completion of the building is a key milestone in Talbot Heath’s vision for the future of education; this facility will become a valuable resource for the school and will support future-focused learning and skills development for people across Dorset.

Practical completion and handover of the building from Acheson Construction to Talbot Heath School was achieved on 15th August. The build began in March 2018 and construction involved working around the needs of a busy school site. Students were given the opportunity for site tours and to learn more about the construction industry throughout the project.

“Acheson were pleased to be involved in the delivery of this complex and innovative construction project. This impressive learning centre and leisure facility will be enjoyed by pupils, staff and a range of stakeholders for years to come. We are proud to have played our part in constructing this flagship facility for Talbot Heath School.”

Marcus Drysdale, MD Acheson Construction

The STEAM Hub allows the school to achieve its vision for education, providing students access to holographic, green screen and cinematographic facilities; robotics, CAD design, 3D printing and design technology workshops. Students will be able to work with industry experts to design solutions to real world problems, digitally map their designs, 3D print and build them and then test and revise them.

Students will experience immersive learning through projection on floors, walls and ceilings and have the opportunity to visualise learning environments through a collaboration with Centre VR in Bournemouth. They will be able to control the lighting and design of the building, exhibiting their work digitally on the walls and windows of the STEAM Hub.

Talbot Heath’s innovative new curriculum is giving girls from age 3-18 the opportunity to learn digital design, design thinking, material science, problem solving and ethics. Students will be taught in an interdisciplinary project-based way, supported by the expertise of Higher Education and industry, better preparing young people for the future of work in a world of increasing automation and Artificial Intelligence.

As a result of this groundbreaking curriculum approach, the school was recently recognised as one of the most innovative and influential Independent schools in the UK at the i25 Awards in London.

Angharad Holloway, Headteacher said:

“We are delighted that our vision for the STEAM Hub is now a reality. This exciting development will support interdisciplinary learning for our students and allow us to extend our innovative curriculum to meet the needs of people from across Dorset. We are pleased to be working with a range of industry leaders to develop curriculum models that bring together excellence of teaching and cutting-edge technology and knowledge.”

The STEAM Hub development has been supported by Founding Sponsors Volvo Cars Poole and Just Shutters who have shown a commitment to local STEM skills development and a passion for educational change to better meet the needs of employers. Talbot Heath is also working with a range of industry leaders across the region to develop educational packages that develop the skills and knowledge that young people will need to succeed in the future workplace.

A formal opening event is scheduled for the 13th September, with notable alumnae including Louisa Clein, Dr Heidi Doughty, Sheila Innes and Kate Royal among those joining the celebration.

For more information on the project please contact Lisa Northey-Dennis, Director of Development lnorthey-dennis@talbotheath.org or visit https://www.talbotheath.org/about-talbot-heath/steam-hub-new-2019

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