Increasing teaching capacity at one of Scotland’s oldest schools to inspire the next generation

26 November 2020
Image of Royal Highschool taken from a street view.

Amey’s Project and Schools Facilities Management Team in Edinburgh are helping one of Scotland’s oldest schools to meet its growing need for teaching capacity to inspire more students to gain meaningful skills and qualifications. 

The £1.5 million transformation of The Royal High School (RHS) is being undertaken to increase the schools capacity and allow them to provide a high-quality learning environment for over 1,200 pupils drawn from four feeder primaries in the north-west of the city. 

The team completed phase one of Royal High School in Edinburgh transformation during the recent summer holiday. Phase one comprised of the design and build of six temporary classroom units within the grounds providing increased teaching capacity for almost 200 children. 

Despite the challenging backdrop of COVID-19 phase one of the school's transformation was successfully delivered safely, on time and within budget with Amey working closely with Edinburgh City Council, teaching staff and their supply chain partners to develop detailed and robust plan to minimise the risk of spreading COVID-19 and disruption to the school. 

Phase two of the project which is currently underway will see Amey project manage the design and build of a new permanent nine classroom teaching block within the school grounds. This project is due for completion within 2021 and will also incorporate removal of the temporary classrooms installed in phase one. During phase two Amey will also be responsible for the design and conversion of two exiting classrooms into two state-of-the-art science facilities to help with the increased in demand from pupils taking STEM-based subjects as part of the curriculum.  

Amey is committed to investing in local communities on all projects, and the Royal High school transformation was no different with Amey utilising it local supply chain partners and local labour wherever possible.  

Speaking about the project, John Paterson, Amey FM Regional Director for Scotland said: 

“Once again, Amey show just what they can do to meet the changing demands of our customers—working co-operatively with City of Edinburgh Council, our client Edinburgh Schools Partnership and of course the staff of Royal High School. Together with our local supply chain, we have used our experience to provide a bespoke solution to the immediate needs of the school and the communities it supports. We look forward to delivering the permanent solution in Phase Two and ensuring the same high level of satisfaction.” 

Calum Gordon, City of Edinburgh Council said: “The school's transformation programme is a hugely important project which will improve the quality of education provision provided Royal High School as their remit grows. The temporary classrooms that were installed by Amey in phase one are already providing an additional 200 learning place within the community. And with phase two currently underway, I’m confident that the new teaching block and conversion of two classrooms into state-of-the-art science facilities will provide a learning environment second to none for pupils and teachers both now and in the years to come.” 

Aileen Gardiner, Edinburgh Schools Partnership said: This is an excellent example of collaborative working in response to the growing need for educational spaces at the Royal High School. We have worked closely with Amey, Edinburgh City Council and the Royal High School to ensure the design and build of the project caused minimal disruption to pupils and teaching staff. The installation of the temporary classrooms in phase one means there will be no disruption to lessons during the building of the more permanent high-quality classroom in phase two. 

Amey has a proud history of delivering facilities and estate management across the critical infrastructure and public services which Scotland relies on. Amey’s Secure Infrastructure portfolio in Scotland includes the maintenance of vital defence infrastructure and housing and schools across in Glasgow, Renfrewshire, Edinburgh, Dumfries and Galloway and the Borders, as well as the prisoner transportation as part of a joint venture with GEO.  

The Royal High School (RHS) of Edinburgh is a co-educational school administered by the City of Edinburgh Council. The school was founded in 1128 and is one of the oldest schools in Scotland