Late in 2006, SpaceKraft completed work on a major four-year project to design and install an extensive array of multi-sensory equipment across 20 separate areas of the new purpose-built Bridge Special School in Telford, Shropshire. The implementation of SpaceKraft's multi-sensory environments as a major part of the school's ongoing inclusion programme has proven so successful that in November 2007, the school won the 2007 BECTA Award for Excellence in ICT Practice in the Inclusion (Primary) Category.
Originally based at sites in Brookside and Stirchley, The Bridge School was relocated in January 2007 to the Hadley Learning Community (HLC) Telford. This is a £70 million PFI (Private Finance Initiative) project which has created a 21st century learning campus incorporating three schools within a single, modern building on a 39-acre site. The campus consists of a primary school, a secondary school and The Bridge Special School, a centre for children with severe and profound learning and physical disabilities which provides places for 162 pupils aged 5 to 19 years.
SpaceKraft became closely involved with the Bridge School section of the HLC project from its inception early in 2004. Working alongside head teacher Una Van-Den-Berg and deputy head teacher Heather Davis, together with Andrew Jones from the Interserve building group, SpaceKraft developed the design and specification of 20 sensory areas that would become a vital part of the school's curriculum.
Heather Davis explains, "All our staff were very heavily involved in the design of the new school, really thinking through the needs of the pupils now and what was going to be an effective provision for them in the future. We had to project into the future because the school has been built with an expected 25 to 30 year lifespan as a PFI building, so we had to thinking about the changing needs of the changing population that we can see coming through early years, and think about how that will effect educational provision much further down the line.
We had worked with SpaceKraft before at the old school sites, so we had already established a professional relationship with them. Because of this, we were able to go to SpaceKraft and say 'This is what we are trying to achieve and this is what we feel the children really need - what have you got that will help us to do that?'
SpaceKraft designed and installed five multi-sensory Whiterooms and five multi-sensory Blackrooms equipping each with a wide range of suitable interactive sensory products. The Whiterooms also incorporated SpaceKraft's exclusive Sensory Show Magic interactive sound video and lighting system. SpaceKraft developed two different Softplay rooms for the school and fitted the school's hydrotherapy pool, Music Room, Music and Drama Hall, and a science classroom with Sensory Show Magic interactive sound and lighting.
Deputy head teacher Heather Davis explains, The facilities that SpaceKraft have provided are fantastic tools for encouraging a meaningful social interaction between our pupils and the mainstream community."