ISG completes work on Harris Academy Sixth Form in Rainham, UK

ISG has completed its latest project for Harris Academy, delivering the design and construction of a new build sixth form in Rainham, UK, through the Department for Education (DfE) framework. 

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Ian Zhong
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Harris Rainham sixth form building

The new sixth form building offers a strong response to the lack of post-16 education places in the surrounding area, with the completed building now able to accommodate up to 400 students. We were appointed to the £14.5m project through the DfE framework, to deliver a contemporary sixth form along with the demolition of an existing swimming pool building on the wider Academy site.

Set over three floors, the new building was individually designed to create a university-like setting, with private study areas and library, to encourage independent scholarly work. The sixth form also incorporates inclusive design elements for students with special educational needs, with specialist rooms featuring adjustable lighting and soundproofing to create sensory-friendly environments.

The ground floor offers state-of-the-art spaces for design and technology, art, drama and music practice, an inviting main hall for assemblies, and dining spaces with collaborative outside seating. The first and second floors feature private study areas, a library, ICT suites, and science laboratories.

The building employs energy-efficient systems, including solar panels, sedum roofing, and low-carbon, pre-cast concrete floors, stairs, and lift shaft, significantly reducing its carbon footprint. These features support environmental goals and serve as educational tool for students’ learning, with cycle shelters also encouraging sustainable travel.

Strong collaboration and early engagement between project partners ensured transparency and accountability, with positive feedback on the team’s technical strength and effective communication. This collaboration and efficiency led to an early project handover, facilitating a smooth transition into the new learning environment.

The growing demand in the area for sixth form places means that Harris Academy is currently oversubscribed for the September term, a testament to the excellent learning environment on offer.

computer lab
sixth form cafeteria

We pledged to deliver a variety of social value initiatives during the project, furthering our commitment to supporting local communities and creating job opportunities for young people.

This included providing T Level students with industrial placement opportunities via a formal application process, while strengthening our partnership with North Kent College.

ISG team members - Steven McCarthy, senior project manager and Karen Vigar, education engagement manager - organised an interactive session at North Kent College to meet current design, survey and planning (DSP) T Level students. Students also heard from Alex McCarthy, an apprentice quantity surveyor, who came through ISG’s apprenticeship programme.

Interested students were then encouraged to apply online and went through two rounds of interviews. The successful candidates, Sam and William, participated in a 45-day industry placement on the project, developing construction knowledge while gaining industry experience through practical application of their T Level course.

Sixth form common room

"ISG have been fantastic to work with. They have designed and produced a state of the art sixth form but in addition they have worked with the ‘people and community’ side of the build by enabling us to host open evenings, tours and regular student visits. This has made a significant difference in both our successful transition into the building and in promoting our sixth form to prospective students.”

Gareth Stananought, Principal, Harris Academy Rainham

harris rainham
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