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St Matthew's CE Academy, Plymouth

Second Sunesis school for Plymouth - built in 39 weeks!

St. Matthew's CoE Primary and Nursery Academy is a new school in the Derriford area of North Plymouth that opened in September 2015 and provides a three form entry of 90 pupils each year.

To deliver value, and also provide a school one year quicker than usual methods, the council choose the Scape procurement route and opted for a Dewey model from our Sunesis range of standardised schools: you can see more about Sunesis here

Speed of construction

Our team delivered the three storey Sunesis Dewey 3FEN in just 39 of a 44 week programme - the fastest completion achieved for this school type to date!

The form of construction was used was a factory produced pre-insulated external wall frame system (StIF Panel™). This eliminates the shrinkage issues of a timber frame by using Light Gauge Steel (LGS) as a structural building system.

Our achievements

  • Completed in 39 working weeks against a base programme of 44 weeks.
  • Ground Floor handed over and occupied in 36 working weeks.
  • Zero defects at handover.
  • Considerate Constructors Score of 44
  • As part of our commitment to a lasting legacy in the community, a playground for disabled children was constructed free of charge in Woodlands School.

Path to success:

  • Collaborative workshops with the supply chain at key stages to develop the delivery programme – getting buy in from the supply chain.
  • Zoning/phasing the school to create a sequential flow of activities.

Plymouth City Council:

“I must commend the high standard of the finished product and thank all involved in delivering such a magnificent school. This is the best standard of delivery achieved by a contractor working for Plymouth City Council.”

The head teacher:

“It has been a real pleasure working with Willmott Dixon. It was such a contrast to the sort of service I have experienced with other contractors.”

Second school in Plymouth

This is the second Sunesis school built in Plymouth, the other being Knowle Primary School. The reason Sunesis is popular is the cost certainty it provides, with this multi-storey school coming in at less then £7 million and built within a year. Want to talk about Sunesis? Contact Tim Carey.

Topping out time at St Matthews

Janine Waring, Academy Project Officer at St. Christopher’s Primary Multi-Academy Trust:

" St. Matthew’s will be a vibrant and stimulating academy that reflects the local community, meets the needs of society and helps pupils be the people they were created to be by nurturing, encouraging, inspiring and challenging those of all faiths and none.”

To see a previous Dewey school built, watch this time-lapse of one in Southampton


  • Fastest Sunesis completed so far
  • Completed in just 39 weeks
  • New school to provide additional places for 630 pupils
  • Dewey model chosen
  • Sunesis saving in time and cost




Eden House, 82 Macrae Road, Eden Office Park, Pill, Bristol 

BS20 0DD

Tel: 01179 349 214

Fax: 01179 277 565