Hastings Academy was designed to replace a failing school and to help regenerate the beautiful but under-resourced Ore Valley.
The new two storey secondary school is set in the High Weald Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, on a steeply sloping site with excellent views out to the sea and across open countryside. The design team has taken every opportunity to convert these unusual site conditions into positive aspects for pupils and teachers.
The honeycomb form of the building – eight learning blocks around a central presentation space - has been arranged to ensure as many teaching spaces as possible have views across the landscape. The central space has a fully glazed wall looking over the Ore Valley and, by exploiting the natural slope of the site, every floor of the building has direct access to outdoor spaces.
The new building includes adaptable teaching spaces, performance areas, an extended sports hall, a dining hall, a floodlit all-weather sports pitch and car and cycle parking.
The Academy, with its exceptional leadership team, has transformed the lives of many of its students and on its first Ofsted inspection received a rating of ‘Good’ which is a remarkable achievement considering the school was in special measures only four years before.