Thursday, March 9, 2017 - 15:00

Following the application for a new two form entry primary school and nursery for St Austell and the Clay Area, the Atlantic Centre of Excellence Trust and the Eden Project have now formalised their relationship.

Gordon Seabright, Managing Director at Eden, recently joined the Atlantic Centre of Excellence Board of Directors.  The new partnership has developed as a direct result of the free school application and a recognition that the two organisations share the same vision for sustainability leading to a better future for all.

As part of the application and interview process to the Department for Education, the Atlantic Centre of Excellence Trust carried out a free prize draw campaign to encourage parents in St Austell with children aged 0-5 to complete an online survey. The survey asked for parents views on the proposed curriculum, whether they would use a subsidised bus and whether they would send their child/ren to Sky ACE Academy and Eden Project Nursery.  There were 62 respondents to the survey and 56 of them said that they would put Sky ACE Academy on their school admission form, 35 of which said it would be their first choice. The prize winner lives in Trewoon and has a little boy aged 2.

The Atlantic Centre of Excellence Trust’s experience in, and commitment to, embedding sustainability across the whole curriculum and belief in taking local action to tackle global challenges chimes perfectly with Eden’s mission to connect people to each other and the living world. 

The Atlantic Centre of Excellence Trust and the Eden Project advocate the outdoor learning approach and believe that it leads to significant benefits for children’s health, happiness, well-being and development; in their relationship to nature and each other; and that it is a better start to formal education.
The intention is for the new school to be an international school with the British Council International School accreditation at the highest level.  The school will be self-sufficient with ground source heating, PV solar panels, water harvesting and energy efficient lighting.  The intention is for the school to engage in sustainable food sourcing, including involving the children in growing their own food and looking after their own animals.                                                                         

The school will promote sustainability in the broadest sense by;
- working in close partnership with the Eden Project
- giving children ownership of the sustainability agenda
- providing an extended learning environment
- providing extra-curricular activities with subjects around sustainability
- promoting learning outside the classroom best practice
- promoting the school as a South West hub for sustainability which will involve training teachers from across the country and hosting seminars and events

Jennie Walker of the Atlantic Centre of Excellence Trust said:
“If the school goes ahead then children would get ‘the complete package’ with an outdoor inspired curriculum that benefits from the unique and diverse open spaces within the new development which will in-turn support children to understand who they are, where they are from and what impact they have on the world.”

Gordon Seabright, Managing Director at the Eden Project, said:
“I'm very pleased to be joining the Atlantic Centre of Excellence Board of Directors. Eden and the ACE Trust have a strong relationship based on a shared ideology and a belief in the positive effects of outdoor learning and sustainability in education. We are delighted to be working together on a new primary school and nursery the St. Austell and Clay Country area.”

Interested parents can find out more at