For children with special education needs (SEN), it is essential that classrooms are created in a way that support and enhance their learning. Find out how Springfield can create the ultimate learning space for your pupils in this article.
What Is SEN?
Special educational needs (SEN) can affect a child or young person’s ability to learn. Each child is unique and there is a wide spectrum of special educational needs affecting many individuals.
Almost a fifth of children in Britain are identified as having special educational needs (SEN). It is estimated that around 7% of children are disabled and a significant number of children have both SEN and a disability.
Although the SEN Code of Practice stresses the importance of not assuming hard and fast categories of SEN, children with SEN and disabilities have needs and requirements which Gov.uk suggests may fall into at least one of, or a mix of, these four areas:
- Cognition and learning: some children may need practical sensory or physical experiences to support the development of abstract ideas and concepts and or to aid their reading, writing and concentration levels.
- Behavioural, emotional and social: Children who have these needs may require a more structured learning environment, with clear as well as safe places to calm down.
- Communication and interaction: the need is for an environment with a low level of distraction. Sensory stimulus can also be incorporated to reduce anxiety levels.
- Sensory and/or physical: special attention to acoustic and lighting conditions, specialist aids, equipment or furniture may be needed.
Therefore, due to the broad range of learning difficulties that need to be catered to, SEN classrooms require planning across an even broader spectrum of considerations than traditional classroom setups.
What Is An SEN Classroom?
An SEN classroom is built to suit the needs of children who have special educational needs and might struggle in a wider school setting as a result. Schools need to consider a wide range of issues when it comes to creating any type of classroom, but even more so when it is SEN classrooms.
There are many factors that need to be considered when creating an ideal learning environment for people without any additional needs. Therefore, creating an SEN optimised environment means deeper consideration needs to be made in order to create a fun, functional, practical and safe place suited to additional needs – and ultimately allows pupils to achieve their full potential.
Modular Buildings For The Education Sector
Just some of the key factors that need to be considered are:
- Sensory elements - Control over lighting, acoustics, materials and textures can be essential in SEN spaces.
- Health and wellbeing - Appropriate toilets, showers and hygiene facilities need serious thought and planning. Frequency, location and accessibility of these facilities need the utmost consideration because without additional facilities for changing and washing, many people with disabilities are left with no option but to lie on toilet floors to be changed which is highly unhygienic, undignified and puts carers at risk of injury.
- Spacious but safe - You want to create an unobstructed space so that movement is easy but also safe.
- Separate zones for different needs- Depending on the needs of the pupils, this may include therapy rooms, sensory rooms or isolation rooms for some quiet space.
- Access to the outdoors – There is often growing emphasis on outdoor learning, so classrooms can be designed to feature bi-fold doors, accessibility ramps and canopies so that the outdoors is easily accessed and enjoyed.
Our strong relationships with education authorities across the UK has led our research and development team to produce many innovations to help make our buildings highly adaptable. Therefore, we have a variety of safety features available to you, such as:
- Roller blinds with anti-ligature mechanisms to prevent accidents.
- Soft-close doors to stop fingers from getting trapped.
- Anti-scald taps to children can wash their hands with warm soapy water, without the worry of them getting hurt.
- Lockable, solar tinted windows which protect against harmful UV rays.
- Wheelchair and buggy friendly facilities throughout the building.
- Wheelchair-accessible showers and wet rooms.
- Accessible ramps.
- Door & window finger guards.
- Low-level toilets and height-adjustable washbasins so that the bathroom is perfect for all children.
- Lighting proven to enhance learning.
- Electronically controlled roof skylights with automated ventilation management and rain sensors.
- Intervention rooms.
- Access control on external doors.
- Heavy-duty plasterboard to provide increased impact resistance & soundproofing to a 35db rating.
- Spacious designs created to accommodate specialist equipment such as integral oxygen cylinders and leg rests as well as a parked wheelchair.
- Weight-bearing ceiling track hoists.
For both schools and nurseries, each of our buildings can be specified and fitted out as suitable for use as assembly halls, IT suites, after school club areas, laboratories, canteens, exclusion & reflection rooms, breakout spaces, treatment rooms, performance studios, accommodation and activity centres, and many more options sculpted around your requirements.
While they’re a necessity, accessible facilities should be fun and engaging, too. We want all special educational needs pupils to feel comfortable, confident and independent wherever possible.
Therefore, we don’t just deliver the space, we work with you to maximise the area with innovative ideas and safety features that ensure a safe, secure environment conducive to learning to ensure you receive the very best return for your investment.
Springfield modular buildings can offer a bright, airy and stimulating learning environment for your pupils, with internal and external design chosen by you. They are also building regulation compliant and energy-efficient.
One of the primary reasons why schools and local authorities turn to us is that we offer tailored features and facilities for schools to help meet their individual requirements, just speak to our team and we will ensure your vision is made a reality.
If you’d like some more information on projects we have previously successfully delivered, take a look at our case studies, testimonials and brochure. Or, to get in contact with our expert team for a friendly discussion about your classroom needs, give us a call on 01744 851 958, fill out our contact form or request a call back.
Published: Apr 09 2021 in Sectors