Sutton High School

Health & Education

LTS Architects was commissioned by Girls' Day School Trust to develop a strategic masterplan for Sutton High School, aiming to integrate historical structures and accommodate a growing student population. The project's first phase revitalized underutilized spaces into modern, naturally lit learning environments through the retrofitting of Victorian-era buildings. The second phase, aligned with the school's growth strategy and LETI Pioneer network, introduced expansions to dining and sports facilities, as well as an innovative Early Years facility called Fernwood House. These new spaces prioritize borderless learning and seamless indoor-outdoor connectivity. The design also emphasizes efficient ventilation and natural daylighting while using eco-conscious construction materials and techniques. With sustainability as a core focus, the project achieves significant embodied carbon reduction and promotes biodiversity. The result is a sustainable, nurturing school environment that facilitates student growth and well-being.

Girls’ Day School Trust


    1. Main Contractor Ashley Group
    2. Project Manager Bidwells
    3. Quantity Surveyor Potter Raper
    4. M&E Engineer Ritchie + Daffin
    5. Structural & Civil Engineer Heyne Tillett Steel
    6. Landscape Architect Staton Cohen
    7. Planning Consultant Nexus
    8. Acoustic Consultant Hann Tucker
    9. Photographer Luke Hayes


    1. TES Schools Awards 2023 Shortlisted, Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) Setting of the Year

In the first phase of the project, completed during the summer break to minimize disruption, the school was able to transform previously underutilized spaces into modern learning environments. By retrofitting the existing Victorian-era buildings, dark and inefficient areas were converted into flexible, naturally lit spaces using a combination of natural and recycled materials.

Part of the LETI Pioneer network (promoting net zero carbon development), the second phase of development meets the School’s 5 year growth strategy with ‘light touch’ expansions to the existing dining and sports facilities as well as an exciting new Early Years facility, Fernwood House. Designed around the Reggio Emilia educational approach, the new spaces foster borderless learning and seamless indoor-outdoor connections. The dining hall extension was thoughtfully designed for efficient ventilation and daylighting, minimizing solar gain and preserving the quality of surrounding teaching spaces.

Strategic links between the dining hall, kitchen, and auditorium enhance space utilization, allowing for informal teaching and events beyond lunchtime. The construction of new building elements utilized an eco-concrete fast foundation system and timber SIPs superstructure, enabling quick construction while minimizing disruption to the operational site. The material palette, both inside and out, emphasizes sustainability and aims to achieve a significant reduction in embodied carbon compared to typical school buildings.

With a focus on sustainable construction methods, materials, and a biodiversity net gain strategy, the design team has successfully created a balance between experimental play and a rich landscape. The result is a school that embraces sustainability and provides a nurturing environment for students to thrive.