SPECIALISM

PROCESS

Our vision

The practice has gained national recognition for our work in the education sector, across all the age groups.

Within this sector, special educational needs (SEN) has become a specialist area of expertise where the practice regularly advises the Government on future standards.

Alan Johnson has led our team through a timeline in the development of educational design over more than twenty years.

Our national reputation within the SEN sector is based on research and development into specific disabilities and the environmental design of schools which help the students maximise their potential within safe, secure and stimulating spaces.

As more and more children have their disabilities diagnosed at an early stage, the government’s inclusion programme of integration within mainstream schools has often struggled to cope with specific disabilities, such as autism.

The practice has therefore pioneered custom designed special needs environments for disabilities which can’t be catered for in mainstream schools.

From designing one of the first prototype inclusive educational campuses at Manor Green Crawley, to the centre of SEN excellence at The Avenue School Reading, where pupils and SEN experts use the same building, we have promoted innovative environments to aid the development of SEN students.

Our SEN expertise has been employed in both co-located mainstream and special schools, as well as schools specialising in particular levels of disability.

Our research into the impact of lighting, heating and acoustics, in conjunction with sensory environments, has been fundamental to the continuous development of our SEN expertise and portfolio.

The Gillingstool project in Gloucestershire provided the integration of a mainstream primary school with an SEN primary school. By using a series of joint facilities across both schools, this has not only provided the schools with a high level of integration and inclusion, but also facilities from which the community benefits.

Daventry Hill SEN school provides a more customised special needs environment for predominantly autistic children who benefit from a range of spatial experiences, but within protective surroundings to make them feel safe and secure.

Ultimately, our SEN designers aim to provide environments which help maximise the attainment and quality of life for the students they serve, but within welcoming and inspiring facilities which dispel the perception of the institutions provided in the past.