A New Lower School for Waynflete
“￼￼[We will] design and renovate the Lower School to meet the teaching and community needs of our youngest students and families. New and improved spaces including workshops, laboratories, and dedicated library space for Lower School students will accommodate better opportunities for active learning, community-building activities, and quiet reflection.”
- Excerpt from 2012-2017 Strategic Plan
Waynflete’s Lower School is an exceptional educational institution where teams of highly qualified teachers guide students through the first eight years of their school journey. Its intimate spaces and warm atmosphere inspire fond memories for generations of students and parents. The relationships that form between students, teachers, and parents are the foundation of the School’s safe and supportive learning environment where children challenge assumptions, take learning risks, and experience success.
A time for change
The Lower School curriculum emphasizes active, experiential learning—a deliberate approach based on our knowledge that young children learn best by exploring ideas through concrete, authentic experiences. For a number of years, we have recognized that significant changes must be made to the Lower School’s physical infrastructure in order to effectively support these program goals. Since the school’s original Campus Master Plan was approved in 1994, Waynflete’s Middle and Upper School programs have been transformed by major renovations and the addition of new spaces and facilities. The updated Master Plan notes that “a similar transformation of the Lower School is long overdue…the School should be housed in a state-of-the-art facility that better supports its already excellent programs.”
A new Lower School will enhance the student learning experience through:
- A purposeful balance between communal and individualized learning spaces that accommodate both energy/active curiosity and quiet concentration/reflection
- Inviting community spaces to strengthen the partnership between students, teachers, and parents throughout this impressionable time in life (including a more welcoming and comfortable entry space to better support the transition from home to school)
- Dedicated spaces designed for ongoing research and exploration within each program
- A dedicated Lower School library/media center designed to meet the needs of young learners
- A learning environment that is secure and accessible for learners and visitors
- An expanded Art Studio
- Easier access to outdoor play and learning areas adjacent to the building
- An environmentally friendly, LEED- and Passive House-certified structure with long-term benefits addressing issues of insulation, airflow, heating, and electricity
The construction of a new Lower School is the top infrastructure priority at Waynflete. With approximately double the square footage, the new facility will provide a more accessible learning environment and the essential spaces needed to engage students in hands-on exploration specifically designed for the developmental needs of each program.