St. John's School Music Room – Phase 2

We are raising funds to complete our Music Room so that it can be used as a much needed classroom.

We did it!

On 22nd Dec 2017 we successfully raised £6,820 of £6,000 target with 91 supporters in 35 days

New stretch target

We're thrilled to have reached our target with the backing of all our fabulous supporters... but it doesn't have to stop here. 

Any additional amount we can raise towards this figure will be a huge help! 

£250 would pay for lights 

£400 would be spent on a floor covering

£600 would cover wall mounted heaters

£750 would cover the building control inspections & approval 

£900  would go towards burglar alarm system 

£1500 would be spent on a fire alarm system

£2500 would pay for all the remaining electrical work 

£7500 would cover the bi-folding doors at the front of the building 

The story so far: 

The Music Room project originally started in 2014 when we were approached by an architecture student at the Royal College of Art, Clementine Blakemore, who offered to build a project for the local community. When we thought about what our school really needed, a dedicated Music Room was top of our list - as musical creativity is a key part of our educational philosophy. Currently, our music teacher Mrs Insley has to move around the school for each of her classes, meaning desks have to be stacked away to create enough space, and instruments such as drums and ukuleles have to be moved across the school from various ad-hoc storage spaces. Clem worked closely with the school, running workshops with the pupils, parents and teachers to develop a design for the new space.


Phase One: 

Throughout 2015 we raised approximately £40,000 worth of in-kind donations for the first phase of the project, including pro-bono engineering services, free materials and equipment from local companies. The structure was made using timber donated by the Architectural Association's woodland campus at Hooke Park and was fabricated at Grymsdyke Farm, an innovative research and making facility in our village. The project was built with a team of volunteers including architecture students from the Architectural Association's Visiting School programme, the school's caretaker, parents and friends. It was opened in January 2016, and the structure has so far been used as a pavilion for outdoor learning and events during the summer months.




Photo: Hayley Watkins

How the money will be spent: 

We now urgently need to enclose the existing structure, to protect the wooden frame from decay, and to be able to start using the space as a proper music classroom. Your donation will contribute towards the overall construction costs for Phase Two, including: 

– Insulating the roof and the floor: this will keep the space warm in the winter & cool in the summer. 

– Cladding the back of the structure with clear polycarbonate sheeting: glazing this north-facing wall will ensure the space is evenly lit throughout the day, without direct sunshine, glare or overheating. 

– Enclosing the front of the structure with timber cladding: sustainable materials will be used wherever possible, including on the front facade, which will be clad with thin strips of larch.

– Installing bi-folding doors: these will enable to space to be opened up to the grassy space in front of the building during the summer months. 

– Lighting, heating & electrical: as well as the basics we would like to supply audio-visual equipment such as a projector, sound system, and electric keyboard. 

– Burglar and fire alarm systems: it's crucial that we're able to keep the space safe and secure 

– Built-in furniture and storage: this will enable to space to remain clutter-free, whilst allowing us to keep all our instruments in one place. 

– Textiles: this will help us keep the space thermally insulated, protected from bright direct sunlight in the summer, and improve the acoustics

– Other interior finishes such as floor coverings & fire retardant coating

– Labour for the above work 

Our music teacher Mrs Insley has said: “This is a unique opportunity to create an inviting and special space where music and creativity is valued and celebrated. Instruments can be stored and displayed in a way that will invite children to explore their own musicianship. At the same time, vital space that is currently used for music lessons and instrument storage will be freed up in many areas of the school.”



Images: Clementine Blakemore Architecture 

Fundraising progress to date: 

To date, we've raised £24,500 – leaving a further £35,500 which this Crowdfunder campaign will contribute towards. 

The money we have raised so far has come from the following sources: 

- RIBA McAslan Bursary

- CIL funding from Wycombe Council

- a donation from Lacey Green Productions

- pro-bono engineering services from Webb Yates 

- pro-bono architecture services from Clementine Blakemore Architecture

- fundraising events held by the Parent's Association over the past six months

This has enabled us to develop a detailed design, submit a planning application, run power to the structure, and commission two local craftspeople to contribute to the interior of the space. Textile designer Karina Thomas is making a curtain which will provide acoustic and thermal insulation, whilst furniture designer Studio Outfit is creating bespoke built-in furniture and storage. 

We have now received planning approval, and after a competitive tender process, Timber Workshop have been selected to carry out the construction work – so now all's that left is raising the funds! 

How we're planning to raise the rest of the money:

Alongside this Crowdfunder campaign we are applying for grants from sources such as the Screwfix Foundation, Garfield Weston Foundation, Clore Duffield Foundation, and Big Lottery Awards for All. We're also planning to hold more fundraising events in the coming year including a Circus. As with Phase One, we'll be approaching local building material stores for in-kind donations. 

Finally, we've recently been selected as a recipient of the Co-op's Local Community Fund for 2018.  If you live locally to the school, you just need to become a member and select us as your Local Cause, and then 1% of every purchase you make will go towards the project.

If you have any other ideas, or can help in any way, please do get in touch!

About us:

St. John's C of E (VA) Combined School is the only primary school in the small Buckinghamshire village of Lacey Green, serving approximately 250 children between the ages of 4 and 11.  As a Voluntary Aided state school, it is funded both by the government and the Church of England, but also depends on additional fundraising. Like many state schools in the UK, it is increasingly facing budget cuts – particularly in regard to the arts, including music. 

Fundraising for this project is being led by the St. John's Parent's Association,  a group of parents and carers, who help raise funds to support the school's activities. We are a registered charity and organise various events throughout the year.

Why is music education important?

To understand why our school is so passionate about ensuring high quality access to music education for our pupils, please take a look at these links:

Sistema Scotland Findings: "Children are happier, more confident & well behaved" 

BBC News Article:  "Many teachers said the scheme led to more positive attitudes to learning and improved motivation in other subjects...and that team-working skills had improved as a result, as had pupil concentration."

Julian Lloyd Webber:  "I don't know how many surveys you need to prove, conclusively, that learning a musical instrument and being involved with music actually has a massive knock-on effect on other school work... I've seen huge changes in children's confidence, their relationships with other children, their ability to work with teachers, to work in groups – and it changes the whole relationship within the family."

Philip Viveash"This is why we study and teach music – not because it will improve academic performance, enable young people to make friends, look good on UCAS applications, provide wonderful opportunities to perform and places to visit, enable them to perform and make music all their lives, or teach discipline and dedication (although, of course, it will do all of those things). We want our students to be enriched and encouraged by music. We want them to have more resilience, more dedication, more discipline, more love, more compassion, more short, a richer and happier life."

Your rewards:

We've put together some nice ways to ensure that your contribution can be marked and remembered, either on our sponsors' plaque or in our time capsule.  We've also teamed up with some really interesting fabricators, designers, artists & craftspeople to create special and unique rewards – as a treat for yourself, or perhaps as a gift for someone else? Of course, if you'd like to donate without receiving a reward, that's possible too – and you can also add a bit extra via the 'pledge more' option at check out. 

£10 (unlimited): A huge thank you for supporting our project! 

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£35 (unlimited): You'll receive an A4 print (21cm x 29.7cm) of an architectural visualisation of the building. Choice of two images below, printed on high quality paper. Your name will also be included in the thank you list placed in the time capsule we'll be burying in front of the building. 


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£75 (limited to 100):  You'll be able to include a personalised note or a photograph in the time capsule we're burying in front of the building, and will also have your name / family name included on the thank you list. You'll be provided with special archival paper to write your message to the future, and the items will be preserved using best practice to ensure preservation over 20 years. We plan to open the time capsule in 2038. Additionally, you'll receive a limited edition, sketch print of the building on A3 cartridge paper (28.7cm x 42cm).


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£140 (limited to 50): You'll have you name / family name / business name CNC milled on the timber sponsors' plaque inside the Music Room, as well as your name on the thank you list, and the option to add a personalised note in the time capsule we'll be burying in front of the building.


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£160 (limited to 6): You'll be invited to the Wycombe workshop of furniture fabricators Studio Outfit, who are making the seating and storage for the Music Room, where you'll receive a limited edition, hand-crafted timber peg rail (1m long or cut to size). You'll also have your name on  the plaque,  on the  thank you list,  and will be able to add a personal note to the time capsule. For more information about Studio Outfit's work, please visit:


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£190 (SOLD OUT): You'll be invited to the London studio of ceramicist Tanya McCallin, where you'll be able to choose a pot to keep, out of a selection of work recently shown in the British Craft Pavilion at the 2017 London Design Fair. You'll also have your name on  the plaque,  on the  thank you list,  and will be able to add a personal note to the time capsule.  For more information about Tanya McCallin's work, please visit:


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£190 (ONLY 5 REMAINING): You'll receive a hand-woven 100% felted lambswool hand knitted limited edition scarf, made by Karina Thomas, the local textile designer who is making the curtains for the Music Room. The scarf will measure 30cm wide x 1.5m long. You'll also have your name on  the plaque,  on the  thank you list,  and will be able to add a personal note to the time capsule. For more information about Karina's work, please visit:


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£190  (SOLD OUT): You'll be able to claim a 5 course-tasting menu for two at the Hinds Head, in the nearby village of Bray. The pub dates from the 15th Century and is now a Michelin starred restaurant, owned by  Heston Blumenthal – a former pupil of St. John's school, and former resident at Grymsdyke Farm! You'll also have your name on  the plaque,  on the  thank you list,  and will be able to add a personal note to the time capsule.

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£190 (limited to 12): You'll be invited to a guided tour and three course lunch at Grysmdyke Farm, the innovative research and fabrication facility in Lacey Green, where Phase One of the Music Room was made. At the end of the tour, you'll receive a limited edition robotically-printed glazed tile, similar to those recently for sale at the V&A shop in London. Additionally, you'll also have your name on  the plaque,  on the  thank you list,  and will be able to add a personal note to the time capsule. Title dimensions: 200mm diameter. For more information about Grymsdyke Farm, please visit:

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£190 (limited to 2): You'll be able to claim a two-hour design consultation with Edmund Fowles, Director of the prestigious architecture practice Feilden Fowles (BD Young Architect of the Year, 2016). The discussion might cover planning approval, plans and spatial layouts, materials and detailed design – or any other architectural queries you have. The gift includes a tour of the practice's RIBA awarding-winning London studio on the Oasis urban farm in Waterloo, central London, which was recently included in the Open House weekend. Your name will also be included on the sponsors' plaque, and in the time capsule. For more information about Feilden Fowles, please visit:


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£230 (SOLD OUT): You'll receive an Ercol Originals 'Saddle Stool', kindly donated by Ercol, whose factory is located a few miles from St. John's in Princes Risborough. This stool was designed by Lucian Ercolani in 1955 and re-introduced to the Ercol range at the request of Margaret Howell in 2010, especially for sale in her stores in Japan; every Japanese home apparently has a small stool just inside the front door where you sit and take off your shoes before entering the home.  Dimensions: width: 36cm x depth: 27cm x height 47cm (seat height 42cm).  The stool will be available to collect either from Lacey Green or London. You'll also have your name on  the plaque,  on the  thank you list,  and will be able to add a personal note to the time capsule. For more information about Ercol please visit:


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£500 (SOLD OUT): You'll receive the artwork'Violin Plates' by renowned British Artist Sir Michael Craig Martin, made as a limited edition for the Royal Academy of Arts. You'll also receive a beautiful book about the artist, and four tickets to the current Dali / Duchamp exhibition at the Royal Academy. Additionally you will be a Guest of Honour at the opening of the new Music Room, where your name will be included on the sponsors' plaque, and in the time capsule. The artwork comes as a set of three plates, the dimensions of which are as follows:Small: 18cm diameter | Medium: 20.5cm diameter | Large: 26.5cmFor more information about Michael Craig Martin, please visit:


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£1000 (limited to 1): You'll receive the one and only1:25 scale model of the Music Room. Additionally you will be a Guest of Honour at the opening of the new building, where your name will be included on the sponsors' plaque, and in the time capsule.  YThe dimensions of the model are: 28cm (deep) x 34cm (wide) x 20cm (high)


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How you can help:

1. Support us by making a pledge and choosing a special thank you reward on the right of this page. 

2. Choose the 'pledge more' option at check-out if you're feeling generous!

3. Spread the word to your friends, family and business contacts via email and social media. We need to reach our target of £6000 by 22nd December, or we won't be able to claim any of the pledged funds.

4. If you're local to the school, you can also support us by becoming a Co-op Member, and choosing us as your Local Cause.  Every time you shop, 1% of what you spend will go towards the new Music Room! Find out more here.

Detailed Budget:

£6800        Architectural Design Fees & Expenses 

£3000         Structural Engineering Fees

£900            Insurance

£1135         Planning Application & Building Control

£25000      Main Construction Work & Materials (cladding, insulation, glazing, labour)

£3700         Electrical Work

£7000         Bi-folding Doors

£2400         Burglar & Fire Alarms

£1000         Lighting & Heating Fittings

£3000         Interior finishes

£10,000      Storage, Furniture & Textiles 

£2000          Contingency 

£66,000      Total

Any other questions? 

If you'd like to know more, please feel free to get in touch with us at: or

You can also visit the project page:

A note from the School Governors:

" The unique and attractive Music Pavilion has been a fantastic and inspiring project for St John’s, which has really drawn together pupils, staff, parents and the wider local community.  Phase Two of the project will enable the existing structure to be enclosed as an interior space, transforming the pavilion into an invaluable resource for the school. The completed building will create a space where music can be learned, enjoyed and shared, which will sit at the heart of the school and the community for many years to come. The governors are delighted with the tireless efforts that have gone into the project so far, and would like to thank everyone for their contribution, however great or small."

– Caroline Gulliver, Chair 

Thank you so much for your support!

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