SS John & Monica Forest School

New building becomes learning tool for children to experience their natural environment

SS John & Monica Catholic Primary School
Moseley, Birmingham
Year Completed
RIBA Work Stage
  • Project Lead
  • Architect
  • Contract Administrator
Sympathetically designed to engage with its woodland surroundings, this timber building features a number of environmentally friendly installations so that the building itself is a learning tool, with children gaining first hand experience of the importance of protecting their natural environment and its resources.


Energy efficiency has been at the heart of the proposals from early concepts; with an air source heat pump, efficient underfloor heating and rainwater harvesting to help supplement the building’s passive energy design.   High levels of insulation, clever orientation of the glazing and the maximisation of natural light all  play their parts.

The generously sized glazed reading alcoves are cantilevered out into the wooded surroundings, immersing the young readers in their natural environment.  The timber frame structure with red cedar cladding all respond to this natural, idyllic environment.

The new building is wonderful, and we are very proud when we show visitors around. APEC Architects designed and delivered our new building on time and to budget. The process was stress-free, and we can thoroughly recommend APEC for other school projects.

Eileen WalkerHeadteacher, SS John & Monica School