Not all projects are the same, so a ‘one size fits all’ approach just doesn’t cut it. Special Educational Needs (SEN) classrooms require even more planning and design considerations in particular. It’s important to take into account all needs without detracting from everyday experience. We’re able to support schools in helping those with additional needs by providing a safe environment, but how?
With plenty of years of experience under our belt, we work with the Department for Education to ensure all of our buildings meet all quality requirements and space standards. Some projects, like SEN classrooms, will require a specialist approach. This is where we come in. We’re able to provide a bespoke, tailored service to make sure we cater to every individual customer and brief.
Firstly, understanding the day-to-day demands of a SEN classroom is a must. Your design needs to ensure that all pupils, no matter what challenges they face, can get what they need; an engaging, stimulating, accessible and accommodating learning space.
It’s important to think about children’s SEN from the very start. We’ll work with our clients to build a design that meets their exact needs. All children deserve the same range of facilities and the same start in life. We’ll remove any barriers making sure that any practical issues that could arise will be addressed early on, so that the finished building is fit for purpose and fit for the future.
Accessibility is the most important factor. We’ll design a flexible, multi-use inclusive space where children are able to navigate the room whether they use walking aids or wheelchairs and more. You also need to factor in the need to provide functional storage space for any equipment. We address this by ensuring all space standards are met and incorporate features such as, in-built clever storage solutions along with lifts and ramps for wheelchairs users and pushchairs.
We always want to build confidence. We do this by including features and facilities that everyone can use without assistance, no matter what age or learning level. This can be anything from low level storage, toilets and handrails to appropriate door and cupboard handles.
Health, safety and wellbeing are important. The design, accessibility and placement of hygiene facilities are something we take into account when embarking on a project like this. You need to create a space in which pupils can move around freely, independently and safely, where appropriate. Taking into account sensory elements and quiet zones for those who need it – are they needed? If so, we’ll maximise the space and build it into the initial design.
After around 15 months of being kept inside due to the pandemic, we’ve really learned the value of outdoor space and how to maximise the use of it. This is especially important within schools, academies and classrooms. Sliding or bi-fold doors allow greater adaptation and help bring the outside in, while the use of canopies can help protect our children from that great British weather.
Understanding the users’ point of view, utilising and maximising space, and a multi-sensory environment all contribute toward ensuring the building will be fit for purpose. But it also needs to be adaptable and able to be fit for the future. Meaning a SEN classroom may need to adapt throughout its lifetime to fit students’ individual needs and Modular construction provides this exact solution.
It’s absolutely essential to get the design right at the very start of the project. So early engagement is key to the overall success of a scheme. Making sure you’re working with the client to find out their exact requirements and ensuring you’re working with them along the way, so that they’re aware of where you’re up to at each key stage. This is how we’ve built such a great reputation with those we’ve worked with on past projects.
Want to know more about projects we’ve worked on? Head over to our case studies page.