Penarth Learning Community SEN facility designed by HLM Architects

Ysgol Y Deri SEN school, designed by HLM Architects, has appeared in the BBC mini-series programme ‘A Special School’ to showcase a day in the life in one of Britain’s biggest special educational needs (SEN) schools.

The facility forms part of the Penarth Learning Community, also comprising St Cyres Secondary school and Ysgol Y Deri , which saw Ysgol Erw’r Delyn, Ashgrove School and Ysgol Maes Dyfan special schools coming together into a central learning hub, creating the largest learning facility in Wales.

The scheme features a mainstream comprehensive school with the capacity for 1285 pupils, together with a SEN school, catering for pupils with a wide spectrum of learning needs, including those with learning and physical difficulties and those on the autistic spectrum.

Crucially, it sees special need pupils being taught in the same facility as mainstream secondary school pupils, with the aim of delivering inclusive education and a wide range of learning opportunities under one roof.

The school provides fit-for-purpose, flexible facilities that reflect the changes in the delivery of education to pupils within mainstream and those pupils attending the SEN school.

Gareth Woodfin, Studio Director, said: “Over five years ago, I had the privilege to be involved in the most valuable and rewarding project that I have ever worked on – a truly collaborative Design Team which supported the Vale of Glamorgan in delivering the new state-of-the-art Ysgol Y Deri School for the pupils of various local SEN schools.

“It was such a joy to see the new BBC Wales programme ‘A Special School’ not only showcase so many friendly staff and pupils who all played a huge part in the design process, but in observing how the inclusive design helped benefit and develop the lives of the pupils and their families, as well as providing the necessary facilities to support staff and their wellbeing in the workplace.

“As the headteacher Chris Britten stated, Ysgol Y Deri has always centred on what the children can do and achieve when most aspects of their lives usually focus on what they cannot do. If you haven’t already viewed the series, I strongly recommend watching it as it not only demonstrates how important investment is in educational facilities, but also how collaborative, thoughtful design can improve the wellbeing for both the individuals who use the facility as well as the wider community.”

To view the series, click on the link below:

https://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episodes/m000mpv2/a-special-school

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