Garden Rooms Proposal

A vision for the outside spaces of our school

PTA, staff and students are working as a team to create a new broader vision for the more effective use of Cherwell’s outside spaces. Our intention is to create a more visually cohesive and attractive school whilst also breaking the site down into ‘zones’ or ‘rooms’ with distinct feels and purposes. We want each of those external rooms to promote opportunities for outside learning, student socialization and relaxation, health (see the summary of a study on the benefits of green space below) and also support of wildlife. Our team have started formulating designs for rooms focusing on drama and music, where students can perform and ‘busk’ at lunchtimes along with other zones focusing on themes such as sports, with emerging visions for improved sports equipment such as multi goals and potentially an outside gym equipment. We also envisage lots of spaces for the display of student art so we can increase our capacity to celebrate their successes.

We aim to break the work necessary for this scheme into clear phases, creating a systematic plan for their creation and renovation work one ‘room’ at a time. We plan to start work on Phase 1 (see below) in autumn 2016.

We need your help:
The financial climate for schools is very tight and so the PTA need your help to make our vision become a reality and benefit the education of our children. If you feel able to help us either through a financial donation and / or the sparing two or three hours for a planting or make days (no experience required) then please click on the donate and / or volunteer links below. Together we can make this happen.

The Garden Rooms project aims to:

Enhance the visual appeal and unity of North & South Sites outside spaces;

Improve the facilities to enhance opportunities for outside learning;

Aid students and staff’s health and mental well-being;

Provide spaces to support local wildlife;

Reflect Cherwell School’s innovative, outward-looking and inclusive educational ethos.

Benefits of Green Space

  • Children’s ability to concentrate and be more self-disciplined associated with contact to nature.
  • Improves impulsive behaviour, need for immediate gratification and inattention
  • Appears to improve symptoms of ADHD threefold compared to indoor environment
  • Improves mental health and self worth of children with stressful life events
  • Can reduce aggressive behaviour, possibly due to its restorative process in the brain that helps reduce irritability
Source: http://www.rspb.org.uk/Images/naturalthinking_tcm9-161856.pdf

Phase 1: South Site Central Garden


Designs for the South Site Central Garden are already very advanced and our aim is to start major works in the autumn of 2016 (funds allowing). The space will be of one of the truly garden areas within the overall project. It aims to provide a green lung in the heart of the South Site, with seating and space dedicated to student relaxation, socialisation and art displays.

Other Emerging Ideas include:

Green Arcade


Calm Zone


Donut Hut Enterprise Zone


Drama and Music Zone


We need your help

We are looking to raise money to help us to make this project successful.

The Development Fund is there to support projects that have been identified by students, staff and parents/carers For 2015-2016, our major concerns will be three-fold: short-term indoor projects to improve the fabric of the school building, outdoor projects (such as this one) to improve the school environment, and fundraising for long-term capital improvements to the layout of the school.

We are also looking for support for this project in other ways listed below. If you might be able to help please contact the PTA by e-mailing: pta@cherwell.oxon.sch.uk or leaving your contact details with the South Site School reception on 01865 558719:

  • Volunteer time to be part of a planting or other work team
  • Donating landscaping or building skills
  • Donating building materials

For more information and pictures on this scheme visit the Garden Rooms Plans page, and download our leaflet.

We are now able to accept electronic donations to the school to support our development projects.
Please use the links below:

The Cherwell School at TotalGiving

Or donate with Paypal