The History

The Much Dewchurch site began as an independent school in the 1980s when parents and teachers bought the old village school for £22,000. It became the UK's first state-funded Steiner Academy in September 2008 and is one of 1,000 worldwide and around 30 in the UK which prepare students for GCSEs in core curriculum subjects as well as striving to develop them as a whole.

Steiner education is based on the work of Dr Rudolf Steiner (1861-1925). The first Steiner school opened in Stuttgart in 1919 for children of workers at the Waldorf-Astoria cigarette factory. The school's benefactor, managing director Emil Molt, asked Steiner to found and lead the school in its early stages. Around the world, Steiner schools work to foster and promote human creativity, innovation and social intelligence.

The Project

The £5.1 million scheme, to provide a new music room, a woodwork room, a eurythmy room for movement studies, kindergarten block and their first school hall was spread across 18 months and required the use of Penrhyn and Ffestiniog natural Welsh slates (incorporating an element of hand-shaped slates), Burlington natural English slates and clay plain tiles (including ornamental and coloured tile banding).

A combination of refurbishment and new-build work across 8 different buildings, the £180,000 roofing contract required over 27,500 natural slates in grey and heather colours, laid in a random mix.

Finally, the listed Old School building was extended and re-roofed, but the existing patterned clay plain tile roof was to be exactly replicated using new and salvaged tiles in two different tile shapes and colours. We were even required to lay the re-used tiles and ridge tiles in the same orientation, to maintain the existing lichens and mosses.

The project was completed with a BREEAM rating of "excellent".