St. Kizito Primary School

Chilomoni, Blantyre
“Together with the MTCC, an international standard of teaching and built educational facility will be made available to the local community right in the heart of Chilomoni.”
(Julianne Cassidy, St. Kizito Primary School Architect)
Beehive Main Campus, Chilomoni, Blantyre, Malawi
Primary School (Standards 1-8)
Year of Construction
2019 – ongoing
Design Architect / Project Architect​
Julianne Cassidy
Design Engineer
Toby Savage
Consultant Site Foreman
George Olney
Project Engineers
Hendrix Mgawana and Nick Thorley
Total Building Area (Approx. GEA)
Number of Storeys
Construction Cost
Estimated 1.583billion MWK
(£1.6million GBP – rate correct as of 24th August 2020)
Cost per m²

Estimated 562,144 MWK/m²
(£574 GBP/m²)

“Only 40% of all children of Primary School age [in Malawi] achieved the minimum learning standard – and the gap between the poorest and the richest more than doubles.”
(‘Education for All Monitoring Report’, UNESCO, 2014)

The St. Kizito Primary School is currently under construction at the Beehive Main Campus, in Chilomoni, Blantyre. The primary School aims to offer quality, international-standard educational facilities to severely impoverished children in the local area, and to provide continuity of education to the students at Beehive’s ‘Mother Teresa Children’s Centre’. The project employs all local workers, providing employment and skills-training in a community where 42.7% of the labour force is inactive (Office for National Statistics).

The school is set out in a three-sided ‘courtyard’ configuration, in order to create a protected, enclosed atmosphere, and is orientated to the South to offer amazing views of the Sanjika hill from nearly all of the teaching and circulation spaces. The building spans 3 storeys (one of only three structures in Chilomoni to do so), in order to raise aspirations, lift spirits and look to the future. Through the building’s formation, varying-scale teaching and recreational spaces are created, to accommodate a range of play and learning activities.

The school’s structure is expressed externally, with site-made Hydraform blocks forming infill between the framing elements; classrooms are therefore free from internal structure, creating neat, obstruction-free and flexible spaces to accommodate a range of furniture, equipment and teaching resource.

The building’s circulation is external, and therefore well-ventilated. Located to the inside of the courtyard, the design of the circulation ‘balconies’ increases visibility to other parts of the school and maximises the spectacular view out to the South. Most classrooms are double-aspect, with tall, vertical windows on 2 or 3 sides, encouraging effective passive cross-ventilation and natural lighting. Overhanging roofs to the East and West of the building assist with solar shading on bright days. The upper floors utilise a honeycomb block pattern at high-level, to generate further cross-ventilation, and the steel roof sheets are clad internally with insulation and gypsumboard ceilings to create cool, sound-insulated teaching spaces.
Social Impact
1/4 of all student places will be allocated to those connected to St James Church in Chilomoni
Spiritual Wellbeing
People will be employed at St Kizito when it is fully open
Job Creation
students will attend St Kizito when it is fully open
teaching staff will receive training
Quality Education
1/3 of students on full scholarships a year
1/3 of students partially subsidised a year
Supporting the Vulnerable
“The St. Kizito school will be a centre of educational excellence, welcoming and supporting some of the poorest children in the community; these children will be provided with an opportunity to reach their full potential in a way that would be near impossible without its presence.”
(Julianne Cassidy, St. Kizito Primary School Architect)
St Kizito Primary School seeks to help address the need for high quality education in the area. Local state school education is limited and private school education is beyond the reach of most Chilomoni residents. St Kizito is designed for 480 students, with an intake of two forms per year. A tiered fee structure will be used, with one third of students paying full fees, one third partially subsidised by Beehive and the final third on full scholarships. This will allow the poorest in the community to access quality education, whilst creating a sustainable framework from which Beehive can fund its on-going running costs. We aim to create an international level of teaching, with UK space standards and ratios. We will have 1 Teacher to every 30 students, as opposed to the local 1:120 standard. We will encourage all students to complete their primary school education and to go onto secondary school. This would be a great achievement in an area where only 58% complete primary school. All students will be supported by Beehive’s community outreach programmes – the Family Support Office and the Extended School Workers teams.