Varley Street SEND

Varley Street SEND is a new Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) secondary school facility providing 150 places for three cohorts of different abilities pupils, with associated outdoor teaching facilities. Arranged over a single storey the new purpose-built school is targeting BREEAM Excellent!







Manchester City Council (MCC) has outlined a requirement to build a new 150-place Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) school on Sawley Road in Miles Platting, East Manchester. MCC requires an expert contractor and consultant team to design and deliver the school building and associated external spaces including play areas, car parking and drop off zone, and has specified a desire to replicate the quality and space utilisation of the DfE exemplar school, Halcyon Way in Chadderton, also designed and delivered by jmarchitects. The Prospere Educational Trust has been chosen to run the school and we have worked very closely over various workshops to ensure that the teaching methodologies and aspirations are met through the design of the building and its facilities provision.

The school must be delivered in compliance with the Manchester Low Carbon Build Standard and with extensive social, local, and economic benefits achieved for local communities. As part of the scope, there is a requirement to re-mediate the contaminated ground and existing mine-workings. This also applies to a neighbouring site (Nelson Street), which is to be left as vacant plot upon completion.

The Site in Miles Platting is over 15000m2 and sits South of Sawley Road which connects to the main highway, Varley Street, as the site is currently known as. This site is relatively flat, but largely overgrown vegetation and trees are encapsulated in the site. South of the site hosts industrial facilities, which for the most part are obscured to the tree line. North of the site there is a residential housing off Sawley Road. To the East is the A6010 highway.

The school allows for 3No potential cohorts, each catering for the individual pupil needs of the respective cohorts. The grouping and layout of those cohorts ensure ultimate flexibility for the provision of different SEND requirements. The U-shape configuration of the single storey building plan allows for both containment and passive supervision of each cohort, whilst facilitating close proximity for all to centrally located shared teaching and social spaces.

The admin areas are suitably placed to ensure passive supervision not just for arrival but over the whole school and across all three cohort zones, whilst also strategically located to facilitate secure zoning and opportunity for out-of-hours community use.

All classrooms have direct access to dedicated outdoor teaching areas and the external spaces are subdivided to afford both a secure area and a safe space. Each classroom has a dedicated group room, to facilitate additional one-to-one teaching support. Three specialist teaching classrooms are designed in close collaboration with the school to ensure the stat-of-the art facilities afford targeted and specialist teaching opportunities to cater for the individual needs of the children.

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