Location: Burraton Community Primary School, Saltash, Cornwall
Client: Midas Construction/Cornwall Council
Contract Type: NEC3 Engineering & Construction
- New SEND (Special Educational Needs and Disabilities) teaching space
- Two teaching classrooms, two calming rooms, sensory room, therapy/group area and multifunction space
- Hygiene, staff and plant rooms.
- 10 bay modular bays
- Floor area 375m2
- White render, vertical larch and brick slip finish externally
- Aluminium windows and doors
- Working as a subcontractor to the Principal Contractor
- Occupied school premises
- Fire detection and intruder alarm installations
- Completed February 2020
- Project value £505,000
The Challenge: Constructing purpose built SEND teaching facilities on an occupied school site
Burraton Community Primary School is one of the largest primary schools in Cornwall, catering for children from 4-11 years. It has fourteen mainstream classes and an Area Resource Base for children with special education needs and/or disabilities.
Known as Eden Class, Burraton’s ARB caters for twenty children with severe and complex needs. They have their own specialist facilities, but join with mainstream classes when they can for shared learning opportunities.
The staff at Burraton work hard to create meaningful, exciting learning opportunities for children, with the vision statement ‘Through support and challenge, we strive to equip our children with the knowledge, skills and attitudes necessary for a successful and fulfilling life’. Building the right facility to house the ARB has been an important step for this community school.
“This project demonstrated clearly how modular construction methods can be deployed effectively to create a specialist facility on an occupied school site, working to deliver high quality SEND classrooms within a limited timeframe to match teaching requirements.”
Modular building methods to fast track SEND facility
Burraton School is an inclusive school, welcoming all children regardless of need or ability. The facility supports children with SEND using strategies and interventions designed to overcome their barriers to learning.
Creating a purpose-built SEND environment was identified as a vital need, with modular building methods providing a fast and affordable solution.
With a tight three month build schedule timed to take place during the winter months, the project presented a number of challenges. Access was severely restricted and it was imperative that the school remained fully open for the duration of the build.
The team from Enviro Building Solutions specialises in working safely on operational school sites. They formed an entrance through the playground and safe passage to the car park area, which was given over for storage and welfare facilities.
Matching specialist SEND requirements
Statistics from the Disabled Living Foundation show that there are 770,000 disabled children under the age of 16 in the UK, meaning schools need to create the right facilities and deliver flexible spaces capable of meeting diverse pupil needs. Building SEN classrooms involves complex considerations at both design and build stages.
With a wide range of special standards and regulations to meet and a broad spectrum of needs, every SEND project is different. Areas for consideration include accessibility to facilitate the use of mobility aids such as walking aids and wheelchairs, designing in ramps and low level thresholds.
Modular building methods provide a practical solution capable of responding to sensory and practical elements too. For this project, lighting and acoustics were important issues as well as soundproofing and specialist bathroom facilities.
Calming and sensory rooms plus specialist lighting
As groundworks were completed on site, the individual bays for the building were manufactured off site at the company’s factory, keeping to the strict time schedule.
In line with specific SEND requirements, the two classrooms were complemented with calming rooms, a sensory area and therapy room together with washrooms, staff area and plant rooms. Additional facilities included a hoist and specialist lighting for all spaces.
Externally, this attractive new building features clean white rendered walls complemented by vertical larch cladding and brick slip finish. Aluminium windows and doors provide a quality touch and the work completed by Enviro Building Solutions included fire detection and intruder alarm systems.
Burraton’s ARB SEND space was completed on time and to budget, and is now providing children with a safe, secure environment for learning designed to help them achieve their full potential.