On Thursday 6th June Hounslow Heath Infants School was visited by local MP, Seema Malhotra, accompanied by the Shadow Minister for Schools, Kevin Brennan. Their visit was part of a tour of Feltham & Heston Constituency schools as an "ongoing enquiry into the challenges in our education system and how Labour will respond to them".
After listening to a presentation from the school's Headteacher, Kathryn Harper-Quinn, about the implementation of the Earth Curriculum and the positive impact Small Earth's Superadobe Earthflow Playscapes have had on the children, the MPs went on to watch outdoor lessons in the Sandpit, the Explorer's Adobe and the Superadobe Dome & Amphitheatre.
Labour MPs Kevin Brennan & Seema Malhotra enjoying the sun with Small Earth's Julian Faulkner and pupils from Hounslow Heath Infants School
Seema Malhotra, MP for Feltham & Heston, discovering one of the challenges in the education system on our Spiral Balancing Beam.
Hounslow Heath Infant School's Headteacher, Kathryn Harper-Quinn in an interview with BBC Radio 5 Drive Time's Peter Allen, discussing the beneficial sound mitigating properties of Small Earth's Superadobe Earth Domes.
Saturday 1st June saw the end of our week long intensive Earth Dome course led by Small Earth's Julian Faulkner in collaboration with Iliona Khalili and Tommaso Bazzechi from New Earth UK. Students thoroughly enjoyed themselves learning a range of earth bag building techniques, completing a beautiful 2m diameter dome and best part of a larger 4m one.
When it was too wet to build outside Iliona khalili delivered talks on various technical subjects and lead the construction of a small, dry-pack brick dome that Tommaso, with student help, later turned into a pizza oven.
Throughout the course, participants enjoyed plates of delicious food, nights round a fire and great hospitality from the Thresholds Centre.
We have started the construction of a raised sandpit with jumping tower at Grove Road Primary School Hounslow, which will look like this when we’ve finished….
Watch this space as the project develops.
CBBC Newsround story - Monday 6th May 2013
A primary school near London's Heathrow Airport has installed domes to combat noise from planes flying above.
Children at the school couldn't hear each other at break times because of the noise. Teachers were also worried about the effect the aircraft sounds were having on pupils' learning.
The domes are based on designs normally used for earthquake shelters in Africa and Asia. But at the Hounslow school they're protecting pupils and teachers from noise.
Reuters - 24th April
Pupils at a London school so close to Heathrow airport that it sometimes seems descending planes might land in the playground have found a novel way to fight the roar of jet engines.
Hounslow Heath infants' school has erected four igloo-like adobe domes in its grounds, of a type normally used in earthquakes and emergency zones, to muffle the noise.
The playground is directly under the flight path of Heathrow's southern runway and outside play for the children is interrupted every two minutes or so by landing aircraft passing over their heads.
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In June 2012 Small Earth Built a 5m pierced earth dome with contoured playscape for London's Southbank - 'Festival of the World' on the 2 story high deck between the Hayward Gallery and The Royal Festival Hall.
Design work commenced in November 2011, in collaboration with the pupils from Hounslow Heath Infants School.
The children used models and paintings to develop their ideas drawing inspiration from the earthbag playscape that Small Earth built for the school in 2010.
The idea for a pierced dome came about as a design response to the weight/loading limitations of the concrete deck and reflects the ideas of several of the children around different shaped openings and the play of light inside the dome.