A school that was rebuilt after being destroyed by fire is celebrating after winning the New Full Build Award at the Brighter City of Derby Awards.

St Mary’s Catholic Voluntary Academy, in Broadway, received the Derby Civic Society award from the Mayor of Derby, Councillor Alan Graves.

Amanda Greaves, Executive Headteacher at St Mary’s, accepted the award at Derby’s Council House.

She was joined for the presentation by Ian Naylor, architect for the build, from the Department for Education, and Andrew Muldoon, Estates Manager at the St Ralph Sherwin Catholic Multi Academy Trust (pictured right).

St Mary’s new building – the UK’s greenest primary school – opened in December 2023, three years after the original school was destroyed by fire.

The school is the country’s first biophilic design and was built as part of a pilot project by the Department for Education.

Biophilic design focuses on connecting those inside with nature, with the goal of promoting physical and mental health.

Mrs Greaves said she was delighted to accept the award.

She said: “I’ve seen the school through the journey from 2020, during which we were in temporary accommodation with little access to green outdoor spaces. Now we have returned to our original site to continue the journey, we really want to enhance the outdoor space. At the new site we never have a wet playtime because of the beautiful canopy that links our classrooms, children go outside in all weathers. We are well aware of the impact being outdoors has on our physical and mental health. Due to the inspirational design and architecture, the children are encouraged to learn, play and reflect outside as much as possible as we continue to deliver an outstanding education.

“This is our first award and the fact it is local makes it really special, we are delighted to receive this new build award.”

Mr Naylor said: “This was a fantastic opportunity after the school was devastated by fire, which was tragic. What came back to us was the opportunity to rebuild a school which would allow us to do something different in a beautiful part of Derby.”