The design and delivery of Langham Oaks SEMH school, a residential and day school for Special Educational Needs boys aged 10-16 years, tested conventional approaches to special education needs school design as well as DfE standards. Based on a culture of high levels of passive supervision, the ethos of the school is to have ‘no boundaries’ to the school site or within the building and allow free egress to pupils.
Working very closely with the Head Teacher and the DfE the solution is driven by the school’s unique ethos and brief to create an open and accessible yet safe and secure environment; connect seamlessly to its woodland setting; provide living accommodation clusters directly above the school; and foster a strong sense of community for staff and students alike.
Langham Oaks School is arranged on a single storey around a courtyard.
The school has no corridors at ground level, the courtyard serves as the key circulation space, as well as a contemplative breakout space whilst knitting the whole school together. The woodland context is invaluable providing forest school teaching methods as well as giving pupils the opportunity to feel supported whilst developing essential life skills.
Caroline Gibbs, Bond Bryan SEN Design expert explained that the design solution for Langham Oaks School creates a unique, high-quality learning and living environment responding to the very specific needs of the school and its setting.
This project saw the construction of a high-quality, 1,200-place new-build secondary school with both Sixth Form and community facilities at its heart.
The Robert Clack School is a large existing school in Dagenham.