THE youngest pupils at Benedict’s School, Ealing, moved into their new junior school building this term.


Nominated for a Royal Institute of British Architects award, the extension to the independent (ages 3-18) school has been designed with nursery and pre-prep children in mind.


Classrooms can be opened up to provide larger spaces for team-teaching and shared learning. There are also plenty of small, cosy spaces for quiet activities and one-to-one teaching, a home economics room and direct access to landscaped outdoor learning and play areas.


All classrooms are south-facing for good natural light and have views across to Ealing Abbey.


It is also eco-friendly, having been built to a set of energy requirements known as ‘Passivhaus.’ This is a sustainable construction method devised in Scandinavia which maximises energy-efficiency.


There are currently only a h andful of schools in the UK built to the standard.


Passivhaus buildings have timber frames which are air tight and super-insulated, and can be up to 96% more energy efficient than older school buildings.


Air quality and temperature are maintained by using heat recovery ventilation - different to conventional heating systems because fresh air from outside passes through a heat exchanger.


St Benedict’s head  Andrew Johnson said: “The new classroom spaces are inspiring places for our youngest pupils to learn, providing the best possible start to their education here.”