Bench Project

As our building project draws to an end, we wanted to create a exciting, student led, piece of furniture for the front of the new school building.

Working alongside a local tradesman, Tim Germain, and a local charitable organisation, Community Praxis, we have been developing this project. We wanted the project to be more than simply creating a piece of furniture; we want it to be a lasting legacy to the students.

Over the summer term (2021) students have been engaged in workshops looking at the fundamental requires of a piece of community-centred furniture, and considering the short-comings of traditional benches. In addition, and being mindful of the challenges we have all faced in recent months, students have been working with Mark and Silvia from Community Praxis, to consider the ways in which the project is impacting their own well being and sense of self.

Having completed all the workshops, Tim is currently using all the ideas, discussions and inspiration to develop the final design and fabrication plans.

As the project develops we shall update you via this page.

September 2021

Work has begun on the steel frame for the bench. The final design incorporated a number of the elements we loved from a range of the students’ designs, including:

  • 3 Spokes – linking to our Academy logo and our 3 core values.
  • Flowing curves – to encourage interaction and promote the sense of community within the Academy
  • Lettering – to tell users of our bench something more about what is important to us as an Academy.

Once the frame is completed, Tim will cut and shape all of the oak pieces that will make up the seat and back of the bench. The next step is galvanizing the frame to ensure its longevity, before the final assembly on site.

August 2021

With the student designs all submitted the project moved into its next phase with Tim considering the practical, technical and aesthetics of the designs in order to bring them to life in the final piece. Here are some of the designs and thinking that there designs inspired.

July 2021

The wood for the project had been sourced through Greenways Countryside Volunteers. This group source sustainable wood from parks across Ipswich, so our finished piece will be both truly local, and environmentally sourced. The wood for the project is English Oak and will be dried out prior to fabrication.

English Oak for our project, supplied by Greenways Countryside Volunteers