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Caldicot School Opens

A new state-of-the-art secondary school in Caldicot, Monmouthshire has opened its doors to students for the first time this week. The £36 million, 1500 role school is the first school to be delivered as part of Monmouthshire County Councils 21st Century Schools Programme. The innovative bow tie shaped design provides each faculty in the school with a dynamic 2 storey hub focused around a teaching stair providing students with a diverse and exciting learning environment appropriate for the 21st Century.

In keeping with a school designed for the 21st century we used the latest virtual reality technology to model the building and engage students, staff, parents and governors during the design and construction phases of the project.

It’s awesome, I really like it. I’m ready to start learning,” said Elizabeth Millar, 11, Caldicot.”

The building has been designed to be both affordable and sustainable (BREEAM Excellent) by:

  • having a simple and compact footprint that reduces wasted circulation and minimises heat loss
  • simple environmental strategy that uses the central atrium library and courtyard for natural ventilation and daylighting and frame for cooling
  • robust building materials – brick cladding, exposed concrete and steel frame
  • specification which promotes the use of local materials and workforce – resulting in 70% of the labour used for the project coming from within the county
  • community access – huge asset for the town – meeting rooms, performance space, sports facilities, IT suites and café.

Monmouthshire Council are now constructing their second new school, Monmouth Comprehensive, based on this template design and hope that other local authorities will do the same. 


It’s great to see the new school open with such support. The use of immersive technology in the design and construction process allowed students, teachers and construction workers to have valuable experience of the spaces before moving in and gave opportunity for training and orientation to maximise the potential of this new learning environment.

Tim Humphries, Project Lead