Swindon Schools

Swindon

Project Value - £70m

Project Sector - Education

UK

About The Project

Two secondary schools (Isambard and Nova Hreod), three primary schools (Red Oaks, Orchid Vale and Moredon) and two special schools (Brimble Hill and Uplands) for pupils with severe learning difficulties.  Four of the schools are situated on a single “Learning Campus” site and three schools are located separately in the Swindon Borough.

"Since taking over the headship of Uplands Special School, I have been working closely with Mike Thomas, Project Manager for HCP regarding influencing the decisions made regarding life-cycling in order to ensure that the decisions made support the specific needs of our cohort of young people. Uplands is a secondary school for young people with profound support needs ranging from autism to profound and multiple learning difficulties. Our young people have a huge appetite for learning but they also encounter a range of environmental barriers to accessing that learning as well as the more obvious barriers that a learning difficulty or disability can result in. We try to be particularly alert to the physical and sensory barriers to learning that our students may often experience and to understand how these are sometimes linked to their vestibular (balance) and proprioceptive (body awareness) senses as well as to the 5 senses that we are all well aware of. I have spent time explaining the above to Mike and his team and as a result we have worked together to find finishes which support our aim for a low arousal environment which helps the students to transition from one space to another and avoids unnecessary distraction. Examples of this have been sourcing carpet tiles with minimum flecks, choosing paint colours that are an exact match or which are low arousal in terms of tone as well as colour and the laying the vinyl in a way to reduce the joins down the corridor, as again this support students to transition and helps to avoid the distraction that a join can cause for some students I have appreciated the willingness to understand the needs of our students and their efforts to find solutions which are having long term impact on the way our students are able to access their school. Mike and his team have gained a greater insight into the more subtle and nuanced environmental factors that can make a big difference to the lives of our students and I am grateful to them for their consideration and collaboration when supporting me to create the best learning space we can for our amazing students. "

Fiona Clark, Headteacher

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