Deer Park School

Deer Park School is a newly built 7-form entry secondary free school with capacity for 1,050 students and the potential for future expansion to a 9-form entry with capacity for 1,350 students if required. It has been provided at Woodhouse Meadows to meet wider locality education needs and has been delivered on behalf of the Department for Education by Hampshire County Council in partnership with the Wildern Academy Trust.

The new school opened in September 2021, accepting an initial intake of Year 7 students, and will grow year on year to full capacity of 1,050 students by 2027. 

The Trust's key principles of Care, Opportunity and Quality will underpin the ethos of the new school and provide outstanding learning experiences for each child within the community. 

Marie Lou Litton, Executive Headteacher at Deer Park School, said: “As an outstanding provider we have an excellent track record and are in a strong position to sponsor and establish further outstanding educational provision. The new school will embrace our culture and ethos, play an important role in the new school community and provide exciting opportunities for shared learning and development - for both staff and pupils.”

School facilities  

The main school building is arranged over three storeys, with teaching accommodation surrounding the larger spaces of the dining hall, assembly hall and drama studio located in the centre of the floor plan.

The three-storey dining hall is top-lit by roof lights that bring natural light and ventilation into the heart of the building, while glazed ends to the corridors ensure the views out provide orientation within the circulation areas.

General teaching spaces also benefit from open views connecting the school’s interiors with its surroundings, maximising natural site features of the site and woodland beyond. 

The main school building comprises:  

  • 26 general teaching classrooms 
  • 20 specialist teaching classrooms (art, science, technology, music) 
  • special educational needs and disabilities support rooms 
  • a Learning Resource Centre  
  • assembly hall and adjacent drama studio. 

The sports building comprises:  

  • 4-court sports hall 
  • activity studio 
  • Changing facilities 
  • a staff office.

Additional Community Facilities include:

  • Extended sports hall to include community room and separate changing rooms
  • Floodlit ATP pitch 

Externally, a sequence of spaces differing in scale help in delivering a range of learning and social experiences within a safe, secure and stimulating environment with a woodland background. 

The external facilities comprise:

  • grassed sports pitches including a 400m running track and a multi-use games area, with three netball courts and floodlighting. These sports facilities will be available as part of the school's community offer, out of school hours by prior agreement with the school
  • hard-paved social areas, with some seating and a covered area for external dining 
  • grassed social areas, with some tree planting  
  • a car park for staff and visitors, including accessible spaces  
  • covered pupil cycle stores 
  • a pedestrian boardwalk bridge through the woodland, providing access over the stream to the sports pitches.

Sustainability features 

The school building is on course to achieve a BREEAM ‘excellent’ rating through Fabric First principles, good airtightness, high levels of insulation, efficient boilers and controls maximising daylighting wherever possible.

The building also has a number of significant environmental features to help reduce running costs and carbon consumption, including:

  • a photovoltaic array on the roof
  • a rainwater harvesting system serving the toilet-flushing system, together with low water consumption taps and toilets.

The school will be seeking to encourage cycling to school through the provision of covered cycle stores and safer routes to school infrastructure. 

Access to the school 

Vehicular access to the school will be via new roads being built to serve the new development. These new roads will connect the school to Woodhouse Lane, which will be improved and upgraded as part of the Phase 1 Botley Bypass works. 

Pedestrian and cycling routes into the development are also proposed as part of the wider infrastructure, connecting to routes to the new school from the surrounding pupil catchment area. The new Botley Bypass works will include a safe route to the school site from the neighbouring village of Botley as well as widening the footway of the railway bridge. 

A number of new footways and cycleways will be created as part of the development connecting the site with the existing network. This network of new safe and enjoyable walking and cycling routes throughout the site will encourage pupils to walk or cycle to Deer Park School from the surrounding area.

To provide a safe pedestrian and cycle route across the new Bypass, a pedestrian and cycle underpass is to be provided. This will allow pupils travelling to the new school from Botley to safely cross the Woodhouse Lane element of the Bypass into the site. Improvement works will also be undertaken to the existing Winchester Road Railway Bridge to enhance pedestrian, cycle and vehicle safety.