Creating great learning spaces for those with special educational needs requires creativity and imagination. Schools are often restricted by the amount of building stock they have and the finances to bring in the appropriate specialist equipment to deliver a high standard of education.
According to government statistics, just over 14% of pupils have at least some special educational needs. For 1.6% of children in school, an education, health and care plan has to be developed. That includes having the appropriate facilities on site.
In recent years, modular classrooms have proved increasingly popular for schools, not least because of their lower cost and the fact that they can be installed relatively quickly compared to traditional builds or refurbishments. Their flexibility also makes them ideal for SEN classrooms that can be tailored to specific needs.
Schools need to consider a wide range of issues when it comes to creating any SEN classroom. Children with cognitive and learning difficulties require, for example, sensory and physical stimulation. Those with behavioural and emotional issues will need more space than perhaps you find in a traditional classroom while those with sensory impairment may require specialist equipment and teaching aids.
The Benefits of Modular Classrooms
Modular classrooms can help in this area because they can be tailormade to your specifications. It can be difficult to refurbish or even change an existing building that wasn’t created for the purpose of helping SEN pupils especially if their needs are highly specific.
Most of the work in developing SEN modular classrooms goes into the preplanning and deciding what facilities are required. The building is then produced in a factory setting and the sections moved to the school once complete.
Considerations might include, for instance, having readymade access for wheelchairs. You might want to have control over sensory elements such as lights or include different textures and surfaces. If your pupils have health and wellbeing needs, the location in your modular classroom of facilities such as toilets will be important.
If you have children with disabilities, you will want to ensure that there is enough space for them to move around easily. You might want to include different zones, perhaps quiet spaces where children can go. You could consider the location of your modular building and whether it is suitable for outside learning.
The key here is that your modular school building can be designed to meet your needs exactly. Once the design has been set, the building is constructed off-site and delivered to be put together by an expert team. Foundations can be laid and elements such as electricity and water hooked up once the building is installed, using less workers than with traditional builds.
This is good news for schools not least because it reduces the amount of disruption there is. Most modular classrooms take half as much time to put together compared to traditional constructions.
Modular buildings give schools the opportunity to put in specialist areas to provide for SEN pupils. It means that you don’t have to worry how you are going to transform an existing space and can have one tailored to your exact needs.