Dyson Building

Senior school > Dyson Building

The Dyson Building opened at Gresham’s in September 2021. Sir James Dyson, a former pupil at the school, enabled the innovative new centre for Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics (STEAM) education.

Take a look inside

Space to explore, create, innovate and discover.

The building of a dedicated centre for STEAM subjects disrupts the established narrative that young people must choose between science and the arts at an early stage of their life. By teaching the subjects side by side, pupils can begin to see how the knowledge gained from one discipline can be used in a creative way in another.

Pupils have the time and space to engage in creative projects and, in the process, take different approaches to problem solving; learn to work collaboratively with others; start to understand how to turn an idea into reality, and develop their decision-making skills. There is no doubt these skills will be very important throughout their lives and future careers.

A state-of-the-art structure at the heart of the school campus, the Dyson Building spans 4000m² of space and creates a contemporary teaching facility incorporating classrooms, laboratories, workshops and flexible use, open plan common areas. The striking, open, light steel structure has been designed to blend sympathetically with the surrounding buildings. With exposed structure and services, a principle behind the design is for pupils to be able to see how the building functions rather than concealing its workings behind ceilings and linings.

Click here to watch Sir James Dyson’s advice to the class of 2022 at the opening of the Dyson STEAM building.

Outreach programme

The building also provides greatly improved opportunities for the outreach programme which we run with local schools. Working closely with the James Dyson Foundation, we are proud to see the building becoming a hub for STEAM education in Norfolk. We have welcomed 610 pupils from over 30 local primary schools to take part in activities such as building and launching rockets; coding sphero bots; and building a model space station, which demonstrate the use of STEAM in real-life settings. We also held a Satellite Event for the Norwich Science Festival, bringing a day of experiments and discovery to North Norfolk.

STEAM activities

Pupils at Gresham’s Senior School have loved the new facilities that the Dyson Building has provided over the past couple of years. Pupils take part in many GAPs (Gresham’s Activity Programme) extra curricular activities on a Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday afternoon. These activities and projects have included; designing and making a satellite tracking system where pupils and teachers from the Computing and Mathematics departments joined forces, Electronics, Lego and VEX robotics, 3D printing, building and racing an electric car, and the CREST award projects. There are more opportunities for pupils to observe the many disciplines of STEAM working together for a common goal, including the STEAM Careers Fair during STEAM week.

Various departments work together on projects across the school. For example, the Computing and Drama departments created a self playing piano for the production of Phantom of the Opera. Also, the Physics, Computing, Music and Art departments produced an interactive sound wall for the Norfolk Show.

Pupils from the Nursery, Pre-Prep and Prep schools all have an opportunity to get involved with various activities in the Dyson Building, including Nursery pupils painting a masterpiece with Sphero robots, and Prep pupils building and flying glider planes. There are plans to work alongside the Dyson Foundation with many more activities to come.

The school’s extensive and well-resourced STEAM (science, technology, engineering, the arts and mathematics) programme, enables pupils to develop their knowledge and problem-solving skills particularly effectively through project work.


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