Bloxham School

Bloxham School in rural Oxfordshire came to TaskSpace with a unique challenge – to transform an old junior school building into a contemporary sixth form centre and a public coffee shop.

Bloxham is an independent, co-educational school for children aged 11-18. The school prides itself on its strong student focus at sixth form, with small tutorial groups allowing individuals to explore subjects in detail and with the support of their tutors. The sixth formers needed a new space for learning and socialising, designed specifically for their requirements. The school celebrates its 160th anniversary in 2020 but the staff and students were keen to modernise the facilities they have to reflect changes in teaching and learning, including incorporating technology into the new learning spaces.

The school commissioned TaskSpace to redesign the old Junior School building and transform it into a modern sixth form centre. The project was complex because part of the building has frontage onto the high street of Bloxham. This part of the building was to be transformed into a café open to the public, while the rest of the building was to become a modern sixth form centre.

TaskSpace fitted out the new White Lion café as a sophisticated coffee shop for the general public. The café has a distinct style and identity of its own while still sitting firmly under the Bloxham school brand.

We designed comfortable break-out spaces and a common room for the sixth formers, while the first floor of the building was fitted out with sixth form study rooms and classrooms. The classrooms are designed to be flexible and future-proof, so that they can accommodate larger tutorial groups or one-to-one sessions with minimum fuss. The older buildings were also successfully adapted without losing their period features and individual character.

TaskSpace approached this project with our usual can-do attitude, viewing the challenge of creating a café along with the sixth form centre as a unique opportunity. The team worked closely with the senior leadership team at the school, successfully managing the project to completion within the agreed timescale and budget.

The staff and students at Bloxham were impressed with the results – the sixth formers now have their own standalone building tailor-made for them and the school has an another asset in the cafe.