Value: £2.5m

The Brief

Run by Sherburn, Tadcaster and Rural Multi-Academy Trust, Sherburn Hungate Primary School needed to expand to make way for new and upcoming students due to the development of a new housing estate in the area.

This comes off the back of converting Sherburn Hungate into “Academy” status with other schools within the Sherburn, Tadcaster and Rural School Alliance, giving them an opportunity to access shared resources which will ultimately improve learning opportunities for the school.

The Solution

The solution was to split the project into three phases so that the school could remain operational throughout, with minimal disruption to teaching and learning.

A one-team partnership approach with subcontractors was led by Sewell Construction, who had worked with Harrogate Steel on its second successive education project.

To double the school’s capacity and meet growing population demand, a full refurbishment and extension of the existing school was needed. This would involve the extension of the current Hall, creation of a purpose-built junior building, a brand-new outdoor learning space for Early Years, as well as the extension to the car park and access to the school.

The Challenges

  • The knock-on effects of the coronavirus outbreak affecting resource, materials, and delays to works whilst new safe working practices were put in place,
  • Carrying out works in a live school environment safely and efficiently,
  • Ensuring minimal disruption to teaching and learning,
  • Logistical challenges such as access and egress since there was only one small entrance into the school for both parents, teachers, and construction vehicles.

The Results

Sherburn Hungate Primary School have now been able to double its capacity from 243 to 246 pupil places now available.

The results see the creation of larger more flexible space that can be partitioned to enhance teaching areas, offering more multi-use space to work with.

Five new classrooms, a bigger staff room, cloakrooms, breakout areas and upgrades to the playground areas and carparks create a better flow between the indoor and outdoor areas.

Most importantly, the extension has enabled the school to have a brand-new library, which is something they haven’t had before. The site team named it “Author’s Corner” and donated £550 worth of Amazon vouchers so that the pupils could choose their favourite books to line the shelves with.

The team were lucky enough to engage with the staff and pupils at Sherburn throughout the project. They left a lasting legacy on their new school by signing the steel, and also had a very special site tour where 260 of the staff and pupils went on an easter egg hunt in their class bubbles once coronavirus guidelines permitted it was safe to do so. Each child illustrated an eater egg and three from each class were selected to be displayed in the new extension.

What was most humbling for the project team was the 260 thank you cards they received from the pupils at Sherburn Hungate, to say how much they enjoyed having Sewell Construction and partners on site – we certainly think they will be missed!


The Sewell Construction team have really embraced how we are and what we pride ourselves on as a school throughout the entire process. They have been polite, kind and genuine to our staff and children, always going that extra mile. Whilst the team have done their jobs on completing their contract, it is important to note the impact and legacy that they leave behind; they have really inspired hearts and minds.

Fiona Mackay Deputy Headteacher at Sherburn Hungate Primary School