High Peak School in Cheshire East is set to be transformed, following a significant investment in new facilities by the Kedleston Group.
The school, which offers day and residential places for children with social, emotional and mental health needs, will boast new learning, recreational and therapetic spaces as well as benefitting from a remodelling designed to make the most of the school's stunning setting in the Peak District.
A new sports hall, new facilities for core subjects, state-of-the-art learning environments for vocational skills, and a remodelling of care and school areas of the school to give residential young people a greater sense of privacy and separation, support the school's ambition to enable all children to try new things and to take their interests to the highest level possible, whilst feeling valued, safe and wanted.
Sustainability and environmental concerns have been given significance, since High Peak School children are passionate about these issues. The school runs on a biomass plans, has LED lighting throughout, will now take up a much smaller footprint, reducing energy costs, and will drastically reduce its water usage.
Headteacher Rachel Boylan says:
"Many of our pupils show talent, enthusiasm and dedication to vocational skills, so the investment in specialist facilities will inspire them, make them feel valued and enable to them to take their interest to the highest level possible, ready for college or apprenticeships. The scope of the work is all encompassing, benefitting children's and shows the commitment of Kedleston Group to investing and giving every child the best, which is absolutely what they deserve."
Registered Manager Tracey Hill says:
"Our three children's homes are cosy and welcoming, but now children have views out onto the moors, more daylight in their bedrooms and the new, separate entrance is so important psychologically to help children feel even more at home, and be able to relax. They have all been very excited about the work and impatient to see the final results. They will not have long to wait."
Group Estates and Facilities Manger Chris Kennedy says:
"Quality, sustainability and delivering on the school's vision for pupils have been our guiding principles on this project. There have been no compromises: demolition, new building work and detailed work with subject specialists to deliver the facilities that promote learning have all been scheduled and completed, or shortly will be. This is about making High Peak School the very best place to live and to learn."
Details of the remodelling include:
Bringing the outdoors in, to inspire, calm and give opportunity for contemplation
- By opening up views, vistas and space within the site, pupils will benefit from the calming, awe-inspiring setting over the moorlands of the Peak District. Several residential children, whose bedrooms once looked out on buildings, have spoken to their carers about their excitement and sense of wonder at the view which is 'theirs'. Residential Manager Tracey Hill says, "Some of the children will sit now, and just watch the landscape and of course the ever changing weather we are blessed with here. It's really nice to see them benefitting from the setting."
More opportunities for vocational learning
- New, purpose-built learning environments for subjects including food technology and the performing arts, give children the best environment and specialist equipment to experiment, try new things and to take their interests to a higher level. By investing in learning spaces, we hope that children in our care will feel that their talents and education are valuable and that they are supported in their passions. We believe children at High Peak School deserve the best.
Quiet spaces to support reflection and privacy
- Break out areas for students who may need additional support on a 1-2-1 basis create safe spaces, that are easily accessible and normalise the need to take time out to reflect, gather thoughts or work through issues with a keyworker. By carefully considering colour, texture and the use of space and availability of accessories, we hope that these break out areas will be even more effective than our previous zones.
All-weather, vast indoor sports hall
- An entirely new, and very large sports hall gives the opportunity for wide range of physical activities in both school and care hours in all weathers. A large number of children at High Peak School show enthusiasm, dedication and talent in a range of sports. We want to nurture this, as well as enabling all young people to exercise (with all the physical, mental and social benefits this brings), try new things and have fun.
Expanded provision for children with ASC
- The quiet learning zone provision for children with ASC, who benefit from specialist teaching, is being extended to reflect the growing number of students on site who have thrived in this space.
Investment in therapy spaces
- Our commitment to therapeutic support in the classroom and across our provision stems from the strong evidence-base showing that such therapies increase children's happiness, engagement in learning and their development of life skills. New, designated areas for direct psychological therapy, occupational therapy and speech and language therapy will give greater privacy, accessibility and ability to use specialised equipment and methodologies
Work is at an advanced stage and expected to be completed in early 2022.
Local authorities wishing to tour the new facilities and understand more of how they support the school's vision for its children, should contact firstname.lastname@example.org