The recently completed new-build Broadacre Primary has been shortlisted in the Inclusive Learning Spaces for All category in this year’s Education Estates Awards.
This category recognises the team that has successfully delivered an inclusive learning space for all, focusing on the quality of design and construction of the project, client/user engagement, and pupil/student experience along the way.
Being shortlisted in this award is testament to strong partnership working between Esteem, Sewell Construction and Hull City Council, whereby together we have championed inclusivity and diversity, encouraged blended learning, and have had the needs of the pupils at heart from the start.
Broadacre Primary School
The new £8.2m Broadacre Primary School opened in March 2022 and is home to Hull’s first purpose-built base for young children with Autism Spectrum Condition (ASC) needs.
Following the 2017 inspection of Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) across the city, Hull Esteem was appointed by Hull City Council to produce a SEND Sufficiency Strategy. This identified the need for more variety of learning environments so SEND children could get the additional support they needed to access mainstream settings.
Humber Education Trust was keen to dovetail this inclusive approach with existing plans to re-build Broadacre Primary, in response to growing pupil numbers.
The design philosophy from the outset was to create a shared facility whereby all spaces are interconnected, both within the new base and with the wider school to provide a flexible and blended approach to learning. The ability to access mainstream classes alongside their peers was crucial, to support learning, integration, and enhanced pupil experiences – with the base providing a familiar, comfortable space to return to as and when needed.
The base provides an immersive experience through a dedicated room for sensory play and teaching including a blackout facility, bubble tubes, musical features, and feature lighting.
School staff and the Council’s SEND advisory team were actively involved in the design process, with regular meetings, visits to other schools for research purposes and sharing best practice.
Contractors, Sewell Construction, engaged with the school throughout the project, involving all pupils in celebrating milestones such as steel signing, topping out, MUGA completion, and demolition of their old school.
Site inductions also included education around Autism, with 795 tool-box talks delivered on the theme of inclusion, diversity, and fairness. A partnership with local charity, Goodwin Development Trust, involved young autistic artist, Luke, who created caricatures and worked with pupils on artwork for the new building.