Utilising an old site compound to bring new sports into the curriculum

After completing building work on new classrooms, Emanuel school spotted an opportunity to utilise the space left behind by a former site compound. Instructing S&C Slatter to construct a new multi-use games area (MUGA), Emanuel School were able to introduce new sports to the curriculum, whilst improving access to sport for staff, local schools and the wider community.

“This facility is pound for pound one of our best investments…everybody loves it”

Jeremy Sharp, Director of Strategy and Finance, Emanuel School

Key Achievements

  • Multi-use games area with surface suitable for various sports as well as playtime use
  • School are able to play hockey on site rather than hire pitches off-site
  • Introduction of football into the curriculum in Spring Term 2020
  • Pitch used as part of community outreach for local primary schools and disabled football
  • New pitch is the ‘number 1 choice’ at playtime for all year groups

The Challenge

Emanuel School, founded in 1594, is an Independent School in London and is one of five schools administered by the United Westminster Schools’ Foundation. With a commitment to pupils that are happy, confident and kind, sport is an important part of the culture at Emanuel, with each pupil taking part in at least one 70 minute games session per week.

Nestled into 12 acres of London’s Battersea, the school is space constrained and always looking to increase facilities for sports and recreation for pupils and staff alike. Having recently completed construction of a three-storey classroom block, opportunity was spotted in the space that had been used as the site compound. It was quickly identified as a location to introduce a new sporting facility to bring new sports on site and increase space for recreation.

Hockey is one of the core sports offered for girls at the school, but with no hockey facilities available on-site, the school had to hire facilities in Barnes and Surbiton to allow students to play hockey in the spring term. Ensuring that their new sports facility would allow hockey to be played on-site was an important motivator, as was the ability for other core sports such as Netball to be played on the surface – in addition to it being suitable for lunchtime play.

The Solution

It was clear that the best way to utilise the space was to construct a multi-use games area, or MUGA, to enable various sports to be played on the surface as well as provide the durability for frequent playtime use.

“It has become a massively popular and highly used facility”

Jeremy Sharp, Director of Strategy and Finance, Emanuel School

The team at S&C Slatter discussed the best surface options for the school, to ensure that it would enable the school to offer hockey on-site, as well as provide an additional location for their core autumn-term sport for girls, netball.

As part of the United Westminster Schools’ Foundation, Emanuel School were aware of S&C Slatter, who had constructed sports facilities at other schools for the foundation, “my colleagues at one of the other schools in Reading had very good experiences“. as well as for sports clubs in the local area  “they had a really good profile from Sutton United Football Club.”


“[S&C Slatter] are a clear brand leader…They were very good throughout the process, they helped us with the planning application, they delivered, their execution was good, very conscious of health and safety, of timing requirements out of term – really good experience.”

Jeremy Sharp


The Results

Hockey is now able to be played on-site as a core sport during the spring term, with the MUGA also serving as an additional court for netball, a core sport in the autumn term. In the boy’s sporting curriculum, Emanuel have now been able to introduce 5-a-side football into the curriculum from spring term 2020 as a core sport, with the MUGA also utilised for tennis in the summer months.

When it comes to lunchtime play, the MUGA is the ‘number one choice of playground for all year groups’ and as such a rota has been introduced to ensure that every year group gets the opportunity to use it.

It’s not just pupils at Emanuel who have benefitted either. It’s boosted staff moral in the form of 5-a-side football, with staff playing on Tuesdays and Fridays, even taking on other schools! With a commitment to community outreach, the school has also been able to open up the pitch to the wider community. Primary schools have access to the pitch on Friday afternoons as part of the schools Primary Ambitions program, with disabled football for the local community also taking place weekly.

We’re proud to see the impact of Emanuel School’s new multi-use games area (MUGA) on the availability of sport and recreation on site, “meeting not just the needs of the school but the local community”.