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Planning permission granted for Pellings designed revamp

Whitfield Aspen School has consent for SEN-focused expansion

Posted by Alex Diggins | June 07, 2018 | Bricks & mortar

Whitfield Aspen School has been granted permission by Kent County Council for extension designed by Pellings. The school is a popular mainstream primary school but has large specialist provision for SEN pupils. Pellings, the integrated design and construction consultancy, developed the concept for a new satellite school to form the expansion of Whitfield Aspen School in Whitfield, a suburb of Dover.

Neil Werner, Partner and Head of Architecture at Pellings, says: “The school’s ethos is to provide an inclusive school where mainstream pupils and pupils with varying special educational needs share the learning environment and school activities. The School is rare in its approach to combining mainstream and Special Educational Needs (SEN) pupils in a way where boundaries are blurred, and children mix in both learning and play activities. Pellings has worked closely with the School and Client to create a brief for the new satellite school to pursue a design reflecting the School’s vision and values. This will ensure the continuation of the School’s inclusive approach.”

The school’s ethos is to provide an inclusive school where mainstream pupils and pupils with varying special educational needs share the learning environment and school activities.

Due to the major residential development plans for Whitfield, with up to 6,000 homes being built over the next 30 years, Whitfield Aspen School will develop as a two-site school – expanding SEN entry provision to meet the needs of the growing community. The new satellite school is approximately 500 metres from the present Whitfield Aspen school. The new school building will comprise of two floors of accommodation arranged to create three sides to an enclosed external courtyard. Two classroom blocks, containing mainstream and SEN provision, bookend a central block providing shared and specialist space and the School’s administration hub. The public face of the School building has been revamped with varying materials and double height glazing.

The central courtyard offers a sheltered informal area for play and learning accessed from mainstream/SEN classrooms. Beyond these shared spaces is the playing field which is accessible to all.

The School design has used the topography of the site to provide changes of level within the building to articulate the design and also to encourage the development of pupils' mobility skills. Pellings has many years experience of designing both mainstream and SEN schools, including Willow Dene and Foxfield schools in Greenwich, London, and Goat Lees School in Ashford, Kent.

 

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