Our Lady Queen of Martyrs School

Design promotes social harmony

Lady Queen of Martyrs RC Primary School is a 2-form entry school in Holgate, York. The project was delivered through York’s Primary Capital Programme for the Roman Catholic Diocese of Middlesbrough.

Providing a progressive education environment for 420 pupils, the school includes a nursery; Key Stage 1 and 2 learning spaces; a flexible ‘heart’ space, for the delivery of learning resources; dining and assembly space; and a separate community and music block, as well as ancillary and administration areas. The external provisions include an all-weather pitch, two junior football pitches, a secure reception and a nursery play space. The first-floor terraces and habitat areas provide an invaluable outside learning experience.


The interdependence of faith and learning is at the heart of the design solution.


The interdependence of faith and learning is at the heart of the design solution. The physical space is the assimilation of ideas from the learning community, which are supporting the successful delivery of the curriculum. And, by bringing together two federated 1-form entry primary schools, the project unites young people from contrasting communities, creating greater social cohesion. The technology-rich, agile learning environment allows a variety of curriculum delivery styles, enabling the staff and students to explore different methods of teaching and learning.

Construction challenges included the retention of part of the building, the need to construct the new building on the site of one of the existing primary schools and accommodating Sport England requirements. The site also lies a Level 3 Flood Zone, which puts a number of specific demands on the internal design.

The new primary school is now the largest primary school in the Diocese and provides a fantastic amenity for this local area of York.

Client:Roman Catholic Diocese of Middlesbrough
Contractor:Shepherd Construction Ltd
Value:£5.5m
Service: Architecture
Sector: Learning