New Deaf Resource Base at Newlands Primary School Provides Local Education for all

Last week, the new specialist resource unit for deaf children at Newlands Primary School was handed over to the council and is ready for the pupils and staff to settle into and enjoy

Image of outside of brown brick building with grey windows and a grey roof. A brown bench is on the side of the building and orange fencing runs around the building.

The new building will provide a dedicated space for specialist teaching and school interventions, including speech therapy, that will allow deaf children to meet their full potential. The children will learn alongside their peers and be fully integrated into the life and education at Newlands Primary School.

The resource base has been fully designed by Southampton City Council’s in-house Design Services Team, with input from design team colleagues at Hampshire County Council. Southampton City Council’s Design Team brought their experience on other educational buildings to create a building that will not only tread lightly in terms of its footprint, but will foster a stimulating environment that will allow the pupils and staff to prosper.

The new building, constructed by Darcy Construction, is a purpose-built single-storey extension off the junior wing of the existing school and includes:

  • Two classrooms
  • Therapy room
  • Group room
  • Staff working room
  • Storage facilities
  • Toilet facilities

The staff working room will provide a space for dedicated teachers and staff to provide excellent learning support, therapy and other specialist services to the children.

The building extension has been fitted with thicker insulation and solar-controlled triple-glazed windows, making the building more energy efficient and reducing external noise entering the resource base.

The new classrooms open directly onto a new play area and overlook the playing fields, whilst the group and therapy rooms look out onto mature trees and the adjacent allotments. Additional biodiversity facilities were introduced with the planting of new trees, the installation of a bat box, a swift box, two bird boxes and two insect hotels within the school grounds.

Karen Mellor, Headteacher at Newlands Primary School said:

“All of the children and staff at Newlands are excited about the new resource base and have been eagerly watching the contractors at work as the building project has progressed. Our school is a highly inclusive mainstream primary and our deaf children are already fully integrated into their mainstream classes. Having the new bespoke extension will further enhance the specialist provision in place for them, providing a high-quality environment where they can work with specialist staff to further their progress and development.

“We are lucky to have amazing grounds for outdoor learning at Newlands and we are delighted that conservation of the grounds and nature has been a big part of the project as well”.

Councillor Alex Winning, Cabinet Member for Children and Learning at Southampton City Council said:

“The new resource base at Newlands Primary School will create a much-needed space for deaf children and will allow for our dedicated staff and teachers to meet their specific needs in high-quality settings.

“This expansion has created more local school places for deaf children in Southampton, meaning that fewer families will have to travel out of the city to an education setting that their child needs”.

Managing Director and Founder of Darcy Construction, Parminder Mew said:

“To ensure the best sustainable results for this project, our trusted supply chain who reflect our own culture and principles came from within Southampton’s City boundaries, with the remainder local to the surrounding area. 

"As a local contractor, it was fantastic doing a project with our valued client, Southampton City Council and we are delighted to have delivered the school’s new building.

"This project would not have been possible without the drive and dedication of the team behind it, and we wish to express our gratitude and thanks to everyone involved".