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Blackburn with Darwen & Bolton

East Blackburn Learning


Community
Educational Design Brief

Final Version: 5 October 2009


New East Blackburn Educational Design Brief
3 October 2009
Page Section
2-3 Contents
4 Introduction
5 Section 1 - School specific background information and current
practice
5-6 1.1 Key Learning Community Data
6 1.2 Background Information about Blakewater College and Crosshill
Special School
7 1.3 Trust Status
7 1.4 Catchment Areas
8 1.5 Specialist Status
8-9 1.6 Current Curriculum
9 1.7 Student Care, Guidance and Support
9 1.8 Monitoring and Supporting Progress and Achievement
10 Section 2 – School Strategy and Vision
10 2.1 East Blackburn Learning Community and the LA Strategy for Change
11-12 2.2 The Vision for New East Blackburn Learning Community
12 2.3 Working in Partnership: Blakewater College and Crosshill Special School
12 2.4 The Location for the New School
13 2.5 The Transformational Brief: ‘Learning, Achievement, Innovation’
14 Section 3 – Design considerations and requirements, including co-
location/ specially resourced provision and key design features
14 3.1 Planning Considerations
14-15 3.2 Highways Considerations
15-17 3.3 External Relationships
17-18 3.4 Community Involvement and Use
18 3.5 Security and Safeguarding
19-20 3.6 Whole Campus Learning - External Environment
20-21 3.7 Sustainability
21 3.8 Innovation and Creativity through Design
21-22 3.9 How the New School will be Organised
22 3.10 ICT Strategy
23 3.11 The 3D Text Book and the Intelligent Building
23-24 3.12 Inspirational Learning Environments
24 3.13 Access and Circulation
24 3.14 Specialist Status
24-25 3.15 SEN requirements and Implications on Design
25-26 3.16 Well Being
26 3.17 Student Satisfaction
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26 3.18 Student Engagement, Involvement and Leadership
26 3.19 Community Engagement, Involvement and Leadership
26 3.20 Masterplanning
27 Section 4 – Accommodation requirements, including possible suiting
of facilities and pastoral arrangements
27 4.1 Spatial Relationships
28 4.2 Adjacencies and Linkages
28 4.3 Heart Space (Assembly, Opening Mind and SLRC space)
28 4.4 Assembly or Group Meeting Spaces
29 4.5 Exam Strategy
29 4.6 Dining and Catering
29 4.7 Social Learning Resource Centre
29-30 4.8 Staff and Administration Areas
30 4.9 Design Considerations for Community Use
31 4.10 Multi-Agency Provision
31 4.11 Neighbourhood Community Hub
32 4.12 Support Centre and Inclusion
32 4.13 ICT and Media
33 4.14 Student Storage/ Charging Requirements
33 4.15 Furniture and Equipment Requirements
33 4.16 Home-Based Learning Spaces
33-35 4.17 Crosshill Co-Located Home-Base
35 4.18 Foundation Home-Base
36 4.19 Progress One Home-Base
37 4.20 Progress Two Home-Base
38 4.21 Vocational/ Academic Home-Base
39-43 4.22 External Sports Facilities
44 Section 5 – Opening Hours
45 Section 6 – Details of Space Requirements to be Met
46 Appendices
46-47 Appendix 1 – Class Timetable 2012 for Crosshill Home-Base
48-55 Appendix 2a, 2b, 2c and 2d – Day in the Life of a Crosshill Student at EBLC
56-58 Appendix 3 – Day in the Life of a Blakewater Learner at East Blackburn
Learning Community

Other Essential Documents:


- LA Strategy for Change
- School Strategy for Change (and ICT Output Specification)
- School Accommodation Schedule
- Sorrell Foundation Pupil Design Brief for New East Blackburn Learning
Community (including pupil voice video)
- BwD Design Brief
- Educational Facilities Effectiveness Instrument (EFEI) Scores for
Existing Buildings (Blakewater College and Crosshill Special School)
- Option Analysis and Feasibility Approach (as completed for OBC May
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2008)
- North-East Blackburn Neighbourhood Plan

Introduction

Blackburn with Darwen is a compact, predominantly urban authority made up of two towns
each with a strong local identity. The borough’s communities are diverse in terms of
ethnicity, faith, inclusion, aspiration and economic well-being. Around a quarter of the
population is of Indian and Pakistani heritage and the proportion of the school population
from these communities is nearly a third and increasing. Large areas of the borough are
highly deprived, with just over a third of the long term unemployed under 25, and the figures
for the number of young people not engaged in education, employment or training are
roughly double the national average.

Successful initiatives to close the achievement gap and improve attainment levels have
been developed and implemented. A change in the Council’s status to unitary in 1998, saw
excellent progress made with levels of 5A*-C GSCE grades increasing by more than 15%.
Blackburn with Darwen Council and its community of schools recognise there are still key
areas of underperformance that need to be addressed and view Building Schools for the
Future (BSF) as an exciting opportunity to support this.

Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council joined the Building Schools for the Future
programme in January 2007 and will be awarded approximately £150m to develop schools
fit for the 21st century. Building Schools for the Future investment will accelerate
improvements designed to transform learning and community facilities within the borough,
to ensure better outcomes for all pupils, their families and the wider community.

The scheme will have a significant impact on nine ‘learning centres’, developed on eight
sites and construction is scheduled to take place between 2010 and 2015.

The purpose of this document is to provide architects and the design team for the New East
Blackburn Learning Community with a guide to the school’s aspirations and the needs of
the wider school community. References to physical design are absent, in recognition that
this is an area best left to the professionals.

The newly located school for East Blackburn will be a beacon of regeneration for the
communities of central and east Blackburn. The BSF investment will provide a catalyst for
change ensuring that there is a first class learning community in the heart of the east of the
Borough serving a diverse range of growing communities.

The new site and new catchment areas provides a once in a lifetime opportunity to bring
together pupils from different backgrounds and communities. Blakewater College and
Crosshill Special School have a strong shared vision for the new school and the new PFI
School will provide an incredible opportunity to transform education and provide facilities
the whole community will want to use and be proud of.

The new school will serve 900 pupils (mainstream) and 60 pupils attending Crosshill
Special School. The co-located schools will work very closely together, ensuring that the
design for the new school buildings will maximise the benefits to all students.

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Students, staff, parents, families, the local communities and other stakeholders should all
be involved in planning and designing the new facilities to ensure that the new school
meets the needs and aspirations of all those it will serve.

Section 1 – School-Specific Background Information and Current Practice


1.1 Key Learning Community Data
Name of Learning Blakewater College Name of co-located Crosshill Special
Community (will become a Trust school and School (will become a
School in 2009) partnership Trust partner in 2010)
arrangements to be co-located
Head Teacher Alan Chambers Head teacher of co- Mike Hatch
located school
School Sheley Ward School Ian Maddison
Transformation Transformation
Manager Manager at partner
school
Location of current Shadsworth Road Location of partner Shadsworth Road
school Blackburn school Blackburn
BB1 2HT BB1 2HR
Curriculum Offered Blakewater currently Curriculum offered by Special educational
offers a broad and partner school needs provision with
balanced curriculum Specialism in
with Maths & Technology (Maths,
Computing Science, DT, ICT)
Specialism to pupils for students aged 11
aged 11 – 16 years. – 16 years and are in
receipt of a full
Statement of Special
Educational needs to
support their
moderate learning
difficulties. Some of
the students have
additional or multiple
needs (such as
social, emotional and
behavioural, physical
or sensory
impairment etc.)
Additional information In 2003, Crosshill Special School opened a new build conference
about current centre attached to the school with the intention of providing specialist
conference provision facilities for training and meetings. The centre has provided an
at Crosshill opportunity for students to gain real-life experience in catering and
hospitality as well as providing an additional income stream to support
the school (currently around £25-30,000 pa).
The centre has also been used extensively for community use by
schools and other non-educational groups.
Access to the main school by centre users during school hours is
restricted through soft and hard security measures.
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The conference centre will not remain at the Crosshill site as in 2013
this will be the location for the BwD Pupil Referral Unit.
There is no additional funding to provide this conference facility on the
New East Blackburn site. However, all school sites should be able to
facilitate adult learning and some conference use.
Joint proposed Joint Proposed Curriculum:
Curriculum for the co-
located new school Maths and Computing Specialism to be continued with an additional
(New East Blackburn emphasis on skills based competency approach to learning.
Learning Community) Technology College Status to be retained with increased focus on
vocational/life skills based curriculum.
Further guidance re: curriculum development to be provided.
Projected Number on 900 mainstream Projected Number on 60 pupils accessing
Roll at the new school pupils Roll at the new school the specialist
Crosshill facilities
Number of places for 960 places
which the new school i.e. 900 Blakewater pupils (mainstream)
should be designed and 60 Crosshill pupils (SEN places)
Suggested GIFA 8380 m2
Site of new school Both schools will be co-located to the current Golf Driving Range site,
Haslingden Rd, Blackburn
Site constraints for The site is a sloping brown field site. Currently vehicle access is via
the new school Haslingden Road, down a steeply sloping driveway.
Timescales The new school should be operational for January 2012
Additional information Currently there are approximately 450 students attending Blakewater
re: increase in pupil College. This number is set to double to 900 students in September
numbers 2012. This is due to the closure of Beardwood School in the summer
of 2012. As a result, it is likely that a significant number of students
who start their secondary school education at Beardwood School, will
transfer in September 2012 to the East Blackburn Learning
Community.

1.2 Background Information about Blakewater College and Crosshill Special School
Blakewater College (formally known as Queen’s Park High School) is an improving school,
which has made great strides forward since its ‘Fresh Start’ in 2005. In 2008 92% of
students achieved 5 A*-C, 24% with Maths and English and the percentage of students
achieving 5A* - C GCSE grades is improving year on year. Blakewater College is in the top
1% of most improved schools with a Contextual Value Added (CVA) of 1045 which is well
above average. Crosshill Special School is a successful special school with very supportive
parents. Staff from both schools have spent the last year working closely together to
develop the vision for the new school. This vision is supported by both governing bodies,
and the new Head teacher for Blakewater School (Alan Chambers, who starts in
September 2009). The future co-location of Blakewater College and Crosshill Special
School will enable all students to experience the best possible facilities, with appropriately
skilled and experienced staff. Raising levels of attainment and ensuring that all students
achieve their potential continues to be a priority for both schools. The new school buildings
will provide an inclusive environment which will provide all students with a positive
experience and opportunities, with clear progression routes to employment, training or
Higher Education.

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Currently, Blakewater College shares its sports facilities with Shadsworth Leisure Centre as
a dual use site out of school hours. The swimming pool is open to the public and the
Primary Schools Swimming Programme during the school day. There are no plans to
relocate the Leisure Centre to the new site.

1.3 Trust Status


Blakewater College will become a Trust School (as East Blackburn Learning Community) in
September 2009. The new school will be a hub of community regeneration for central and
East Blackburn. As a Trust School, East Blackburn Learning Community (EBLC) will work
with local organizations to develop pupils into responsible and economically productive
citizens who can actively contribute to the economic and social regeneration of the
Borough.

EBLC will work as a Trust with local, national and international partners. This partnership
will provide opportunities for EBLC to benefit from an enhanced access to specialist
resources and training and will actively encourage the promotion of mutual vocational
experiences. In addition, it will allow the trustees of EBLC to make a sustained and long
term investment in both staffing, resources and buildings and help provide a stability of
local employment.
The trust partners are:
• Blackburn College
• Promethean
• Crosshill School
• Blackburn with Darwen LA

Additionally, our Governing Body constitution will reflect local business and training
providers. A university partner is yet to be confirmed and negotiations with the East
Lancashire Health Trust are on going. The expected implementation date is Sept 1st 2009.

1.4 Catchment Areas


Blakewater College currently attracts pupils from the nearby Shadsworth estate, which is
one of the most economically and socially deprived estates in the country. Currently the
Free School Meals (FSM) ratio is 47%, significantly higher than the national average. 99%
of students attending Blakewater College come from areas classified in the bottom 50% of
areas based on indices of mass deprivation. Blakewater College has 4 main feeder
schools, namely St Thomas Primary School, Intack Primary School, Audley Junior School
and Shadsworth Junior School, with an increase in numbers from St Matthew’s Primary
School. Blakewater College is continuing to improve and further strengthen primary school
liaison and to develop strong 14 – 19 links with other providers across the borough.

Crosshill Special School currently takes students from across the borough, in order to
provide most appropriately for their needs.

As the new co-located school will have 900 places, this will mean a significant increase in
pupil numbers (currently there are approx 450 pupils on roll at Blakewater College) and a
significant change to the traditional catchment area. This will mean that the new school will
need to cater for a much more varied intake than it has at present (both academically and
culturally). The new catchment area will include a range of diverse communities within a
few miles of the new site including:
- the new communities developing around Guide Reservoir and Infirmary,
- the predominantly Asian heritage communities of Queen’s Park and Audley
- the (white) communities of Shadsworth and Roman Road.

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It is anticipated that many students who live in the surrounding area and who currently
travel to Beardwood School, will, in effect, transfer to the East Blackburn Learning
Community once Beardwood closes in July 2012. As the new school will be on a new site,
the design process offers a once in a lifetime opportunity to work with the communities in
the new catchment areas to ensure that all are aware of the exciting developments for East
Blackburn.

1.5 Specialist Status


Blakewater College has Specialist Maths & Computing Status. Crosshill Special School has
a Specialism in Technology (Maths, Science, DT, ICT).

Crosshill School acquired specialist status in 2000, when it became the first special school
in the UK to become a Technology College (at the time, jointly with Queen’s Park High
School as was). As a Technology College, the focus was placed on enhancing the
curriculum in mathematics, science, information and communication technology, and
design technology. The school is currently in its third phase of specialism and confidently
expects to continue in this capacity for the foreseeable future.

1.6 Current Curriculum


Blakewater College currently offers a broad and balanced curriculum with Maths &
Computing Specialism including a wide range of vocational and academic pathways in
KS4.
In September 2008, the school piloted a whole day learning experience for Year 7 students
called ‘Skills 4 Success’ which is a skills based Humanities curriculum offer. This pilot has
been successful so will be rolled out into Year 8 as a Creative Arts curriculum and then into
Year 9 for Science, IT and DT(see diagram below).

‘Skills 4 Success' (S4S) offers students an awareness of:

• How they prefer to learn and their learning strengths


• How they can motivate themselves and have the self-confidence to succeed
• An understanding of aspects which should be considered such as the importance of
water, nutrition, sleep and a positive environment for learning
• An awareness and understanding of some of the specific strategies they can use, for
example, to improve their memory or make sense of complex information
• An awareness and understanding of some of the habits they should develop, such
as reflecting on their learning so as to improve next time.

Pupil Year YEAR 1 YEAR 2 YEAR 3 YEAR 4


Groups 2008-2009 2009-2010 2010-2011 2011 - 2012
involved
Year 7 S4S S4S S4S Home Base
Humanities Humanities Humanities model

Year 8 S4S S4S Home Base


Creative Arts Creative Arts model

Year 9 S4S Home Base


Science, Tech, model
ICT
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Crosshill Special School currently provides a curriculum which is focussed on meeting the
Special Education Needs of the students who attend, and also offers a Specialism in
Technology (Maths, Science, DT, ICT).

Students who attend Crosshill special school are aged between 11 – 16 years and are in
receipt of a full Statement of Special Educational needs to support their moderate learning
difficulties. Typically, the students will have attended mainstream primary school or a
specialist primary provision and will have been assessed as requiring additional support. In
a few cases, students will transfer from mainstream secondary or the pupil referral unit.
Some of the students have additional and multiple needs (such as social, emotional and
behavioural, visual impairment etc.)

Their statement generally identifies the need for a curriculum appropriate to their learning
needs delivered by trained and experienced staff in a specialised setting. The current
curriculum at Crosshill is based upon the particular learning needs of its students. In Key
Stage 3, students will spend the majority of time with their own ‘class’ teacher aided by an
extensive, skilled and knowledgeable support team. Whilst there is considerable focus on
developing literacy and numeracy, the full national curriculum is taught to all students. At
Key Stage 4, students spend more time acquiring and developing vocational skills and in
gaining appropriate national awards (such as GCSE and Entry level qualifications).

1.7 Student Care, Guidance and Support


The current system at Blakewater College is based upon a house system with three houses
each including students from Years 7-11. Each ‘house’ is managed by a member of staff
who is not a teacher. Students are vertically grouped into forms. The pastoral system is
overseen by the Assistant Head Teacher for Behaviour but managed on a daily basis by
the Heads of House. The ‘house’ system may not be continued at the new site as the
‘home-base methodology’ may not be compatible with this.

The care, guidance and support system at Crosshill Special School is based upon the
pastoral responsibilities attached to class teachers and the support staff. The Deputy
Headteacher has a lead role in safeguarding and child protection, whilst the school SENCO
has a high level of involvement with students and families in need of extra help. This close
contact with the students is a vital factor in developing positive working relationships with
young people and their families and will continue to be developed and strengthened in the
new setting.

1.8 Monitoring and Supporting Progress and Achievement


Blakewater College is currently a National Challenge school as the achievement levels for
Summer 2008 were below the 30% floor target of 5 A*-C GCSEs including Maths and
English. The school has rigorous assessment procedures in place with high levels of
intervention at all stages. Students are monitored by their class teacher and at KS4
additional tutors work intensively with the ‘golden group’ of students to raise achievement in
Maths and English.

Every student at Crosshill Special School is in receipt of a Statement of Special Education


Needs. This means that, every year, specific targets are set, reviewed and amended as
appropriate. In addition, academic and social progress is measured using a PIVATS
(Performance Indicators for Value Added Target Setting) platform and this is discussed with
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parents at review. Every class teacher is able to monitor closely individual student
progress and, through joint planning with support staff, identify particular areas for
development. This system is very effective and will continue into the future.

Section 2 – Learning Community Strategy and Vision


2.1 East Blackburn Learning Community and the LA Strategy for Change
LA theme How LA aspirations will be achieved through the SfC for East Blackburn
Learning Community
Choice, - co-location of Blakewater College and Crosshill Special School.
Diversity and - Increase in pupils numbers (to 900) as part of the wider borough strategy to
Access provide excellent schools at the heart of the growing communities of central and
east Blackburn.
- Up to 60 SEN places for students from Crosshill Special School to increase
parental choice and diversity of provision.
Tackling under- - 100% new build (PFI) to further support the school as it continues to improve.
performing - The new build will further enhance pupil and community aspirations, providing
schools further impetus for improvement.
Personalising - The new build provides opportunity to re-organise learning (using a home-base
learning and model with additional opportunities for 14 - 19) and deliver a transformed
enhancing e- curriculum for the 21st century. This will ensure that a wider range of
learning personalised learning opportunities can be provided to meet the needs of all
pupils.
- Additional ICT investment and training will further promote personalised
learning and enhanced e-learning. This will support the school’s Maths and
Computing Specialism, Technology Status and expertise in Special Educational
Needs provision.
14 – 19 - The new school will provide specific facilities to support the diploma lines which
the school is leading on as part of a Borough-wide strategy.
- The school will be designed so as to be welcoming to students from other
schools when they study on site and, in addition, the school will be able to
accommodate colleagues from other agencies to provide Advice, Information
and Guidance.
ECM and - East Blackburn Learning Community will provide hot-desking facilities for
extended colleagues from other agencies, and be designed to facilitate community use to
services ensure that all agencies can work together to meet the Every Child Matters
agenda and ensure the school can deliver a wide range of extended services.
- The school will be open to encourage and support community use.
- The site is currently being assessed as a possible location of the
Neighbourhood Hub for central and east Blackburn, which would draw in
additional investment in facilities for colleagues from a range of agencies to use.
Inclusion - The co-location of Crosshill Special School and Blakewater College will provide
an inclusive environment for all students to benefit from the best possible
facilities and staff expertise.
- The partnership between the schools will facilitate training and CPD for staff
and provide a broader range of opportunities for students from different schools,
with different needs, to work, play and learn together.
Change - A small team of senior leaders from Blakewater College and Crosshill Special
Management School have developed a good working relationship through the development of
this design brief. The philosophy and approach is shared between the two
schools and change has already started.
- Both schools have learnt lessons from the experience of the sample schools
and they are now a very informed stakeholder. There has been extensive staff
involvement and pupils have been involved in the Sorrell Design Project (please
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see the pupil design brief created by pupils from both schools). Detailed change
plans will be written and implemented.

2.2 The Vision for East Blackburn Learning Community


The East Blackburn Learning Community, a co-located combination of Blakewater College
and Crosshill Special School , offers a tremendous opportunity to genuinely inspire and
transform the learning of young people and their communities; it will be a beacon of
regeneration for central and east Blackburn. Through incorporating the best available
design features, the entire site, indoors and out, will truly reflect the transformational
aspirations for Blackburn with Darwen.

East Blackburn Learning Community is committed to working collaboratively with its


community and local organisations. The schools view themselves as partners in lifelong
learning and wish to further develop existing links and strategies (e.g. Neighborhood
Learning and Sports Development Project.) The new school building will add to the stock of
community facilities and will be utilised for a variety of purposes beyond the school day.

The new provision will accommodate the learning, social, emotional and physical needs of
young people and incorporate the requirements of the local communities. The new
buildings will help to break down barriers to learning (including physical and social barriers),
and will help to develop a sense of ownership and belonging amongst all staff, students,
their families and their communities.

East Blackburn Learning Community is committed to personalising students’ learning. This


will involve the development of numerous different pathways and much more choice within
the curriculum. The curriculum delivery will be based upon increased flexibility (utilising ICT
extensively), innovative learning strategies and will be underpinned by high-quality
teaching. The KS3 curriculum will include the development of transferable skills to enable
independent learning in KS4. Additionally, the Learning Community sees itself as a learning
organisation, where learning is not the sole remit of the students, but extends to all staff
and other stakeholders. To this end, the learning community will be developed around
‘Learning Communities within Learning Communities’. These Learning Communities will
offer the opportunity for students to develop their skills and gain knowledge in a setting that
is appropriate to their needs, progressing only when they are ready to, not when their age
dictates - a ‘Stage not Age’ approach. The proposed organisational model for learning will
be a home base approach.

Delivering a curriculum that is personalised to students’ individual needs and desires, the
extended learning day and year will allow for transformation of the curriculum from
traditional subject based organisation to an integration of studies. Collaborative project
based work, development of research and study skills, deep learning and well-being are
just a sample of the ways in which the curriculum will be developed for the future.

At the heart of the transformation will be the integration of the very latest technologies to
enhance learning. Through extensive use of ICT the learning community will explore and
develop new ways of teaching and learning to create a community in which ready access to
communication and information is fundamental. Through employing the development of
new interactive technologies, the ICT environment will enable truly personalised learning
and provide enhanced safety and security.

Health and other support services will be accommodated on site and act as a focal point for
an Integrated Services approach to realising the Every Child Matters agenda. The site will
act as a community hub, providing facilities and services for the community to use and
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access. This will include state-of-the art facilities for indoor and outdoor sports and learning
resource facilities which will be available for use by the communities it serves from early
morning to night, for 48 weeks of the year. In addition, there will be dining facilities open to
the public for use out of school core hours.

With specialist provision for supporting additional learning, social, emotional and
behavioural needs there will be full social inclusion and integration for all.

East Blackburn Learning Community will recruit, retain and develop diverse and highly
skilled staff, leaders, managers and governors who are proud to work in Blackburn with
Darwen. A wide range of staff will be employed including learning enablers, personal
mentors, trainers, and coaches to provide varied learning opportunities. The programme of
Continuous Professional Development will be extensive and allow for the development of
skills and knowledge responsive to changing times.

2.3 Working in Partnership: Blakewater College and Crosshill Special School


The notion of strong partnership has been inherent from the start of the journey towards
developing a shared ethos and co-located learning community, work has already
commenced on bringing the two communities together. Close partnership and collaborative
planning by both project managers throughout the design phase has ensured a
commonality of aspiration and convergence of philosophy. In addition, both schools have
convened ‘transformation teams’ who have met to explore some of the many issues around
partnership. The New East Blackburn Learning Community will reflect this shared vision
and will benefit enormously from the contributions that partnership will bring. There will be
one learning community, which incorporates both schools. Initially, Crosshill will operate as
a ‘School within a School’ with clearly identified resource areas.. However, in the longer-
term, the buildings should be flexible to ensure a fully integrated campus.

2.4 The Location for the New School


The East Blackburn Learning Community will be sited on the former golf-driving range
situated adjacent to Queen’s Park Hospital and Audley Junior Learning Community
campus. The main entrance will be located on Haslingden Road, but other entrances will
be available for pedestrians and cyclists. This is a steep site and as it is a clean site, not

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currently used for the school, it will be important to locate the school close to the
communities it will serve.
2.5 The Transformational Brief: ‘Learning, Achievement, Innovation’
Teaching and Learning is at the heart of improvement. Learning should be a lifelong
rewarding and enjoyable experience for everyone which can take place anytime, anywhere.
Teachers will be facilitators of learning and have significant understanding of both the
teaching and learning process, building on students’ skills, knowledge and understanding to
enable all students to reach their full potential.

Current educational research stresses the importance of learners and teachers being
aware of the nature of learning. Students and teachers will be co-responsible for
enjoyment, learning, progress and targets. Students will take exams when they are ready
and will undertake enhancement, studying a wide range of activities and enrichment
opportunities. The new curriculum for the East Blackburn Learning Community will be
underpinned by 3 elements:
• Relevance
• Skill / theme
• Enjoyment

At KS3 students will predominantly learn with their peers in their home-base. At KS4, students will
have the opportunity to select the most appropriate pathway to meet their needs and ensure they
achieve their potential.

Home-Base Model:
 Students in KS3 will spend approximately 80% of time in their home-base,
often studying through a themed base approach, but will leave their home-base
for PE, Technology and some specialist science activities which require more
specialist resources/ accommodation.
 The home-base will be for a maximum of 180 pupils (this could be a year
group, or a group of pupils organised by stage of their learning needs, not age)
 Each home-base will have one staff team who teach this group, with each
member of staff having different areas of expertise/ knowledge
 Each home-base will have access to a range of spaces for learning as a
community (180 people), in medium sized groups (e.g. 30 - 45 people) and in
smaller groups
 Each home-base will have facilities to teach a wide range of different subjects
(including basic science, art, maths, humanities etc and are expected to use a
range of technology)

Students:
Students will have the tenacity and adaptability to learn on their own, independently, in
smaller groups and in larger groups (e.g. as a whole year group or home-base). Their
learning will be both investigative and active. Students will be aware of how they learn and
where they need to be in terms of accreditation. They will take initiative to learn through
their own research, by working with peers and with a range of staff.

Staff:
Teachers will be skilled in the delivery of both content and skill, facilitating learning using
varied planned activities. All staff will be fluent in assessment and differentiation, they will
be able to encourage optimum learning by being aware of the emotional climate in the
home-base. The idea is that staff can co-deliver with others, but also be competent at
delivering master classes to large numbers (180). They will also be able to deliver a range
of activities and at least two curriculum subject areas. Staff will be skilled to deliver in a
variety of ways and spaces, their teaching repertoire will encompass a variety of initiatives
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such as Assessment for Learning (AfL), Learning to Learn Platform (L2), Social and
Emotional Aspects of Learning (SEAL) and Personal Learning and Thinking Skills (PLTS).
Section 3 – Design considerations and requirements, including co-location/ specially
resourced provision and key design features

3.1 Planning considerations


The principle of a new school on land off Haslingden Road has been established through
the approval of outline planning permission under planning application reference
10/08/0326 on 21 August 2008. At the outline planning application all matters listed below
were reserved for future approval at the reserved matters stage:
• Details of the siting, massing, design and external appearance of the buildings,
including facing materials;
• Details of access arrangements for vehicles and pedestrians;
• Landscaping of the site including all footpaths, hard surfaces and car parking areas;
• Boundary treatment including fences and walls; and
• Programme of development including demolition and new construction work.

The site is designated as Protected Open Space in the adopted Blackburn with Darwen
Borough Local Plan (2002). In such areas Policy TRL1 states that development will not be
permitted unless the development is of demonstrable community benefit. At the outline
planning application stage it was accepted that the proposal is an exception to the
protected status of the open space as the development of a new school would be of
considerable community benefit.

An area of woodland to the south east of the site was retained on the indicative layout
which accompanied the outline planning application. The Council considered that there
would be considerable benefit in retaining this feature which could be used as an outdoor
learning resource for the proposed school, wider community and other educational
establishments in the area.

It will be important in developing the proposal to consider a range of issues including the
siting, scale, materials, design and landscaping to ensure the completed school is of high
quality in terms of its setting and surroundings; given its level of prominence from many
parts of Blackburn.

Furthermore, in developing the scheme it will be important to consider the loss of open
space and the compensatory provision of high quality outdoor sports and recreational
facilities.

Developers should note that although outline planning consent has been obtained by the
Authority, it is the developer’s responsibility to obtain full planning approval. The reserved
matters application will be considered by Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council and will
be subject to the usual ‘due process’ and will not be considered more favourably in light of
this BSF scheme.

3.2 Highways Considerations


This site should be designed in a way that ensures pedestrians, cyclists and public
transport users are the priority. A modern school should incorporate the features necessary
to address the problem of school traffic (20% of peak time traffic) as the Haslingden Road
corridor is a real traffic hotspot. Full access requirements are to be realised for all forms of
transport. Main vehicular access is to be taken from Haslingden Road. Pedestrian access
is to be considered from all avenues of the site, this is also applicable to access for
cyclists. Connective routes are to be pursued. Public transport and how this will have a
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bearing on the network and to site is to be examined. Servicing needs, access into and out
of the site, are to be considered in detail.
The site should be as permeable as possible with good links into the local neighbourhoods
which negate the need for access via the main entrance.

• Access to the school site should be possible from the Queens Park area – in terms
of adequate footpaths/cycle routes and drop off /pick up.

• There should be safe and convenient access between the school site, the hospital
and Audley Junior School

The site is located on a busy highway corridor, therefore there is an extreme pressure to
maintain and manage all vehicles to the site within curtilage. How drop off and pick up is
handled is crucial to the functionality of the school. Looking at where the children travel
from will assist in ensuring access is provided for all.

Understandably there will be off-site highway works necessary to support the new access
arrangement. The nature of works will be highlighted through a Full Transport Assessment
which will be required to support the submission of a full planning application.

Parking is anticipated to be 2 spaces per classroom/teaching area, but this will need to be
discussed with planners. All requirements for provision of disabled, cycles and powered two
wheel spaces as set out in the Joint Lancashire Structure Plan are to be adhered to

3.3 External Relationships


The site for the East Blackburn Learning Community is on Haslingden Road.

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Haslingden Road Access
• The facilities will need to be managed to enable community and school access whilst
ensuring the safety of young people. Logistical services will be achieved through
careful location of access to key points in the school for deliveries and collections,
separate to pedestrian access.
• Vehicle parking will need to be extensive and secure, together with drop off and
collection points and links to public transport. The LEP should be familiar with the
school travel plan.
• There will need to be appropriate access points for students with disabilities
including vehicular access/parking at all times during the day to allow for stopping
and alighting to attend lessons. This is particularly essential for Crosshill students.

Cycle Route
• Solutions will need to link in with existing cycle routes e.g. at Queen’s Park
• The design should encourage students to cycle to school using existing safe cycle
routes
• There should be safe & secure daytime cycle storage

External School Sporting Facilities


• There will need to be easy access for the community to external sports facilities, with
an out of hours entrance and clearly defined reception area with controlled flow to /
from community use facilities
• Facilities should complement and enhance the existing amenities at Queen’s Park.
• Changing facilities (including boot washing) will need to be easily accessible to
facilities, with external exit/entrances available
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• MUGA’s should be located close to the school with easy access for students and
community users
• Sports pitches (including an All Weather Pitch) should be situated for easy access
for students to use during break times and for community use out of school core
hours
• Use of external pitches could be made by neighbouring schools, so additional
storage may be required
• Informal community access out of school hours for play and recreation may be
required

Social Learning Resource Centre (SLRC)


• The SLRC will need to be positioned to maximise potential use by students before,
during and after school
• There should be a welcoming and easily accessible entrance for community use,
(including the opportunity for youth clubs to utilise this space)

Audley Junior School


Given the location of the two schools it is envisaged that appropriate sharing of resources
may be readily facilitated. This may include enhanced access to sports facilities, use of the
entire site for learning outside the classroom, shared use of student transport and so on.
Consideration needs to be given, therefore, to the development of the site to ensure such
links are encouraged and accessible.

Similarly, the ‘corridor’ route to Newfield Special School and the Pupil Referral Unit (which
will be situated on the current Crosshill Special School site) could afford opportunities for
enhanced links to be made.

Blackburn Royal Hospital and new PCT Health Centre


As partners in the EBLC trust, there are exciting possibilities to develop mutually beneficial
opportunities including, for example, vocational experiences for students, enhanced CPD
opportunities for staff and shared use of resources. Consideration needs to be given to the
development of the site to ensure such links are encouraged and accessible

Audley Allotments
With Learning Outside the Classroom as a major area of focus for the new curriculum,
there are real opportunities for developing strong links with the local allotment group.
Consideration needs to be given to the development of the site to ensure such links are
encouraged and accessible

3.4 Community Involvement and Use


Through a well designed Learning Community building and the aspiration for enhanced
facilities on the Learning Community site, East Blackburn Learning Community will
contribute to neighbourhood resources that are available to the local and wider community,
whilst maintaining the security of young learners in its care. Accessible school resources
will include the Social Learning Resource Centre; managed recreation and sporting
facilities; meeting areas; external areas; access to health provision and other
neighbourhood services as appropriate. The school would like to offer a base to
neighbourhood community police and has medium term aspirations to link with a pre-school
facility for its own staff and local parents. A multi-functional space suitable for a mobile
crèche would be a real benefit.

The development of the site as a co-located Neighbourhood Hub is currently the subject of
a feasibility study. The Learning Community will act as a hub for multi-agency support and
provide a ‘wrap-around’ service for students, their families and the wider community. This
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way, there could be the possibility for providing local neighbourhood services relating to the
health, safety and well being of all users of the learning community.

The Learning Community and Local Authority are working collaboratively with several
agencies, to promote community use of all BSF schools in the East Blackburn centre. In
principle, as the Learning Community will have state of the art facilities, all areas of the
Learning Community could be accessible to the community during times allocated to
community use, although, access by the community to areas of the Learning Community
during Learning Community core hours, will need to be carefully considered and managed
so as to ensure the safety of all pupils at all times.

The development of universal drop in health facilities is to be considered; this may involve
targeted service delivery to meet specific community needs, sexual health services, child
and adolescent emotional and mental health services for children with additional needs.
There is potential to expand this provision to enable community access to specialist health
services as part of a broader strategy to reduce health inequalities. School facilities will
support health promotion activity and educational events. NHS Blackburn with Darwen is
currently developing its strategy for Transforming Community Services. The strategy will
include NHS BwD's strategic intention and ambition for the delivery of community based
health services in line with the needs of the local population. Colleagues from other
agencies should be able to use the school facilities to provide a range of services to the
local community. This will require access to group rooms and confidential spaces which
students and the community can access with ease, in a safe and confidential environment.
As part of the process current and future estate needs are being reviewed and will form part
of the borough-wide strategy.

The school recognises the expertise and resources that the voluntary and community
sector can bring in supporting young people and their families wider needs. The school will
support partnership opportunities to develop mutually beneficial arrangements.

An entertainment licence will be required for the Learning Community. The Learning
Community and the Local Authority will collaborate in making provision and promoting
participation.

Community facilities will contribute to student learning by providing relevant vocational


experiences. For example, learners studying leisure within the managed leisure provision;
those studying business and administration within the administrative area; those studying
health and social care within the community and extended Learning Community’s provision;
those studying hospitality and catering within the catering provision; those studying land-
based services with grounds maintenance; etc. In addition, the facilities will ensure the
opportunities for adults to access a range of formal and informal learning activities,
supporting the aspirations of the local Neighbourhood Area Forums.

The extended Learning Community day will operate within clearly defined boundaries, both
of time and space, and will offer an exceptional range of facilities to enhance local
community provision. Informal access to the grounds for play and positive activities outside
school hours is also required.

3.5 Security and Safeguarding


A high level of security is required for the new Learning Community buildings and facilities.
This should be a combination of covert and overt systems. The style and type of security
should not detract from the aesthetics and aspirations of the new Learning Community, and
must be considered as integral to the design from the start. Proposals that provide a high
level of security without the intrusive use of security fencing would be the Learning
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Community’s preferred solution. The LEP should consider the implications of the existing
Public and Permissive Rights of Way on site. A CCTV coverage solution is to be
considered.

The external security of the campus will rest, in the main, on utilisation of natural obstacles
and current boundaries. There will be several entrances to the campus. The major
entrance for vehicle access will be located on Haslingden Road with other pedestrian and
cycle entrances located close to Audley, Higher Croft and Shadsworth. Car parking should
be secure by design, as non-intrusive as possible and not detract from the aesthetic impact
of the building. The Support Centre will have an external, independent, and controlled
access.

Currently residents close to the site utilise a number of informal access points. This will
need to be considered in the design to ensure that the safety of pupils and security of the
buildings is maintained at all times, whilst accommodating the needs of local residents who
require a footpath/ access across the site.

There is a paramount need to ensure hard and soft solutions within the internal space of
the building. This will consist of a manned control point on reception and will only allow
members of the public to access restricted areas during the school day (these will include;
multi-agency reception and the community access part of the shared learning resource
centre). Access for students and staff will be managed through soft solutions such as
biometric monitoring. Before and after normal Learning Community operational hours, there
is a need to restrict access by the public to the home-bases and part of the vocational
spaces.

3.6 Whole Campus Learning - External Environment


The Learning Community sees the external areas as both an extension of the learning
environment and as a social space. There will be a variety of external spaces conducive to
performance, social activity, practical teaching and learning.

The Learning Community will actively participate in dialogue around alternative and
adventurous external spaces utilising the site to its best advantage. An outdoor
adventure/ropes area and a mountain bike track/cycle is essential in contributing to an
increased opportunity for physical development, controlled risk taking and personal and
social development. The site should also include, as a minimum, recreational areas with
hard surfaces for pupils to play actively, as well as areas to relax/ reflect and to be inspired.

External sporting facilities will be exemplary, building on the BB98 and BB102 requirements
to produce in combination with the building and other external areas a site which will inspire
the pupils and community. The facilities will complement existing and planned amenities in
the nearby Queen’s Park.

The LEP must consider using aspects of the external and internal design to contribute to
Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council’s percentage for Public Art Policy.

The external environment should be fully developed to maximise the potential of the whole
school site for outdoor learning. Skilful design, siting and orientation should emphasise the
natural site and vistas, to enhance the learning experience and inspire young people.

Through skilful, innovative and imaginative design outdoor learning areas should be
attractive, inspiring and functional - supporting Learning Outside the Classroom (LOtC), the
QCA Bigger Picture reference to LOtC, and the new secondary National Curriculum.

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The design should reflect the site, the micro-climate and the school specialisms, with the
design of the external spaces creating a safe, welcoming environment full of learning
opportunities. Environmental issues should also be highlighted through the design with the
external environment including lots of environmental prompts. A Learning Community
managed allotment will provide horticultural and land-management experience as well as
healthy produce.

The external environment and extended school grounds should be fully developed as a
resource for all curriculum areas. It must also include a variety of recreational areas for
active play, adventurous play, controlled risk taking, socialising and quiet reflection. All such
areas should be safe and welcoming and include elements of shelter from wind and rain
appropriate to their function.

There must be separate pedestrian and vehicle access. The approach should be
welcoming and through clever design of the main site area people should be attracted and
drawn in to the external environment and the extended grounds.

The indoors should flow seamlessly in to the outdoors, giving pupils and staff the
opportunity to choose their learning environment. The idea of ‘doors to the outdoors’ should
be maximised and there should be direct or easy access from each internal zone to their
corresponding external learning zone. Teachers and learners should be drawn effortlessly
from the indoors to the welcoming outdoor learning spaces and from there they should be
attracted to the outdoor learning features in the extended grounds beyond. Specific
resources for each learning area should be included in each outdoor learning zone to
promote learning, investigation, creativity and inspiration.

Skilful design should ensure that shelter is provided for all the outdoor learning zones so
that they still remain attractive and usable in most weathers. There should be a variety of
semi-sheltered seating incorporated in to each outdoor learning zone including individual/
reflective seating, small group/ breakout seating and whole class (eg sunken/ campfire/
circle time) type seating. Interesting, inspiring and functional use of terraces and decks
within and around the building should be considered to provide additional outdoor spaces.
An outdoor performance area will enable learners to practise and develop performance in
drama, music, dance and oration. The siting of such areas will enable the future possibility
of introduction of split lunch breaks by reducing outside interaction with learning areas,
thereby increasing the efficient use of social dining and other facilities.

Designs should make full use of the extended grounds and the whole school site for
outdoor learning. This should include a series of satellite features utilising all areas of the
site including:
A trim/ cycle trail utilizing the whole site
 Satellite outdoor learning areas/ pods sited for interest, inspiration and quiet
reflection (eg in trees). This could include story corner, a public speaking or
performance area, whole class and small group seating for environmental art or
creative writing
A problem solving zone
A climbing boulder or traversing wall
 On site permanent orienteering courses utilising different areas and providing
various levels of difficulty
Pond with decking
Weather station
Willow seating and sculptures/ environmental art features
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Wildlife viewing hides
 Other features and opportunities for outdoor learning
Designers should work in partnership with school staff and most importantly pupils, to
develop the above resources.

The facilities will be managed to enable community and Learning Community access whilst
ensuring the safety of young people.

3.7 Sustainability
The LEP will incorporate the sustainable ethos into the design from its very inception, using
the ‘Eight Doorways’ in order to achieve the LEP’s Collective Partnering Targets regarding
sustainability. The Learning Community requires the LEP to explore the location, orientation
and shape of the building to ensure the maximum efficiency of the building.

The use of ICT is seen as a major element in the management and promotion of the
sustainability aspects of East Blackburn. The monitoring of energy, water consumption and
generation, is key to the management of the building.

The Learning Community will the expect introduction of environmentally sustainable


products and design features such as energy efficient lighting, home base heating and
passive ventilation which strongly promote the use of renewable technologies such as
ground source heat pumps, biomass boilers, wind turbines, solar photovoltaic and solar
thermal water. They will also expect the use of other sustainable initiatives such as grey
water for WC flushing, rainwater harvesting, sustainable drainage systems and high
environmental performance windows.

The Learning Community and the Authority expects to achieve BREEAM ratings of
“excellent” for all New Build projects and will strive for carbon neutrality across the
programme. The LEP partner will be required to actively seek additional investment in this
area and explore the potential of trialling emerging technologies both for environmental and
educational purposes. The Authority would also envisage that any operational savings
developing from the use of emerging technology to be re-invested in future technologies.

3.8 Innovation and Creativity through Design


Through flexibility in the design of internal spaces, walls, partitions and utilities, the
Learning Community will enable innovative practice to evolve to maintain learning into the
future, incorporating new technologies, methods and pedagogy. By providing flexibility in
internal load bearing, re-modelling will be possible as the Learning Community moves
towards transformed learning and the demands of learning in the 21st Century. The
building needs to be flexible, agile and adaptable in the short, medium and long term to
allow the improvement and enhancement of the home base approach. Learning spaces will
allow a variety of learning group combinations from large group master classes to small
intimate group discussion.

For example using 90 as half a home base size, this will facilitate medium sized groups of
30 – 45 students, and should also support smaller group sizes such as 15 pupils. The
accommodation needs to be flexible enough to provide a range of different sized spaces to
incorporate learning in different group sizes as and when appropriate:
90 90

30 30 30 45 30 15

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15 15 15 15 15 15 30 15 15 15 10 5

3.9 How the New Learning Community will be Organised


The learning community wishes to explore design options which fully support the
transformation of learning. In the first instance, the school will be organised into home-
bases to support the development of each student’s personalised learning programme. This
extends to meeting the needs of all learners including those with special educational needs
as part of the co-location with Crosshill. The LEP will assist the schools and the Local
Authority in framing ideas of how learning will look and how the new school building will
support this.

In order to achieve this, the design for the new school will incorporate spaces that are agile,
flexible and adaptable:
 Agile spaces will be capable of being tailored to the activity being undertaken at that
particular time, on a lesson by lesson basis.
 Flexible spaces will allow a theme, or special event to be set up and support
alternative variations of space/ organisation of teaching to be trialled on a weekly or
termly basis
 Adaptable spaces will allow the more permanent changes associated with the
ongoing life of the school, without impact on the teaching or day to day running of
the school.

EBLC views an initial pedagogy having its main learning areas organised into 5 main
learning areas (home-bases);
• Crosshill Home-base
• Foundation home-base
• Progress 1 home-base
• Progress 2 home-base
• Vocational and Academic home base
Supporting these learning home-bases will be the Multi-Agency Workspace, Support
Centre, and specialist sports and music/ performance facilities

3.10 ICT Strategy


ICT will underpin learning both within the Learning Community and through extended
opportunities for e-learning away from the school site. Learning centres will link to support
area-wide learning networks and learners will be provided with 24/7 access to learning and
daily access to support for learning with their own wireless access devices used within
learning centres, at home and in the community. This will extend full access to anytime,
anyplace learning on the entire campus. Abundant presentation devices will enable
collaborative learning by small and large groups and for varying audiences.

It is envisaged that ICT will sit at the heart of all learning across the curriculum and beyond.
There is no requirement for dedicated suites located within the campus. All areas should be
readily accessible and provision should be to support this principle and allow for re-
charging, downloading, internet access etc. This will need to be integrated into the wider
FFE strategy. However, within the vocational provision specialist provision for multi-media,
graphic design, and music creation will be required.

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There will be a monitor / LCD in every appropriate area to allow broadcasts e.g. news
bulletins to be shared and discussed. The learning community would also like a school
radio station.

The strategy will afford opportunity to develop individual ownership of personal


communication and data devices. In this way, students and staff will be provided with
devices commensurate with purpose. Specific, cutting-edge devices will be required in
specialist areas, allowing opportunity for vocational education and real-life training
scenarios e.g. CAD/ CAM.

The strategy must also allow for easy and multiple connectivity of personal devices to the
learning network; for example, itouch technologies, mobile phones and personal game
stations which can be utilised to enable learning to take place any time, anywhere.

Robust and centralised management systems will inform learning and support teachers and
facilitators in guiding learners. Communication within the Learning Community and between
home and the Learning Community will be enhanced and learners will occupy personal
virtual space in which to interact with teachers, other learners and the local and global
communities. This will be both real-time and post-event. ICT will genuinely support
personalisation in learning.

Multi-agency work will be enhanced through the central and intelligent use of ICT.
Registration will be electronic and will integrate with the provision across the whole
borough, allowing student tracking and safeguarding within other establishments and
locations .All data generated by central management systems must have two prerequisites;
ease of access and ready compilation. In this way, staff, parents, carers, other agencies
etc. should be able to monitor progression, track attendance, observe trends, and ensure
safeguarding and so on.
3.11 The 3D text book and the Intelligent Building
The whole campus will be intelligent in that all systems will work on a single network. This
will mean that data, such as that generated by the monitoring of a cashless catering system
can help to inform healthy eating, or provide real curriculum content around diet,
performance and so on. The Learning Community buildings will model sustainable and
renewable technologies in order to provide exemplar sources for learning. It will have a
clearly identifiable and minimised carbon footprint and incorporate and integrate recycling
as well as energy/resource saving.

The design must contribute to Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council’s Percent for Public
Art Policy. Public Art can be extremely flexible, there are many ways of utilising it whether it
integral to the design of the building, stand alone artworks, artist residencies or creative
community engagement. Public Art can be permanent or temporary. The LEP should
consider appointing an artist as early as possible in the scheme to make sure the art is
meaningful and integral and not an afterthought to the development.

3.12 Inspirational Learning Environments


The learning environment will be planned, flexible and interchangeable. Using technology,
the learning environment can be programmed to reflect the themes being taught. Each
home base team will be responsible for creating their learning environment. Colour will
reflect ownership. Static display areas will represent the communities learning philosophy
and will inspire and encourage learning and progress. The learning spaces will be
informative, interactive and will promote thinking by using static boards, LCD screens,
whole wall projection and the flexibility for teachers to use stick up displays for peripheral
learning strategies. Events, inspirational quotes, current affairs, latest community news and
enhancement opportunities will be visible around the learning community.
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Signage needs to be symbolic, contemporary and aesthetically pleasing. Students know
both where they are and can easily identify where to go. Signage needs to be welcoming,
clear to visitors and accessible to all.

Learning areas will offer flexibility in terms of learning spaces, storage and types of
learning. There will be high internal visibility and effective use of natural light and passive
ventilation. In each home base there will be access to smaller rooms or spaces for
individual or small group activities such as mentoring or project planning. Spaces will be
resourced appropriately for learning within and across the stages.

Toilet facilities will be modern, refreshing, safe and dispersed throughout the learning
community. Blocks of toilets in enclosed areas are not part of the planning. The learning
community also requires a toilet that can be used for religious washing purposes situated
near reception and the opening mind centre, accessible for community use.

Disabled toilets will be dispersed throughout the school and also situated near reception
and the sports facilities for community use. There will also be baby change facilities which
are appropriately located.

Extensive display areas, combining traditional wall displays with cutting edge ICT, will
celebrate achievement, model excellence through exemplar work and stimulate and guide
learning. Specific display cases need to be provided for heritage and historical artefacts on
loan from the museum. At least one specialist case (90x120x180cm) to a minimum
insurance rating of £2,000 needs to be provided. Options for greater security up to £25,000
insurance, would allow the learners to have a much wider choice in artefacts.

Communal areas will be light, clean and adaptable to enable the effective use of larger
spaces for social dining, assemblies and performance. Internal planting and vegetation will
be essential in creating a pleasant and enjoyable atmosphere. These spaces will
encourage independent personalised learning and provide personal space for learners to
store their learning materials, possessions and outdoor clothing.

All social dining and restaurant spaces will be sited to allow flexibility in breaks and lunches.
These areas will link to learner facilities for vocational learning in hospitality and catering.

3.13 Access and Circulation


The whole building should be able to be used as a teaching environment so careful
consideration will be required in minimising the circulation space to maximise the learning
space. Movement areas will be clear and wide with good sight lines and will not be based
on a corridor model. They will provide swift and direct access to all learning areas and
communal space. External routes will be protected by coverings to create “inside – outside”
space with fresh air but weather protection. The Learning Community is willing to explore
the feasibility of external circulation areas, within the context of the sites exposed nature
and the use of space as both teaching and circulation.

The design will afford 100% access to all pupils, staff and visitors. Careful consideration will
be given to the design of the community access and circulation of visitors during the
Learning Community day to assist in the safe management of pupils.

3.14 Specialist Status


East Blackburn Learning Community will comprise two Learning Communities with
specialist status; Mathematics and Computing, and Technology (incorporating maths,
24
science, DT and ICT) and aspires to take on further specialisms. The Learning Community
is particularly keen to explore the possibilities that the Trust partnership with Health will
bring. The Learning Community wishes to promote its specialisms through the design of
the new Learning Community buildings.

The accommodation for the specialist areas will be designed to give them a distinct
signature, or indeed the design of the whole Learning Community may in some way reflect
the theme of the specialism. For example, the use of geometric shapes and numbers in the
design of the building and external areas will be encouraged. In addition, the whole
campus, internal and external, should reflect the ethos of the learning community and
promote active and innovative learning throughout.

3.15 SEN Requirements and Implications on Design


The LEP should be aware that East Blackburn Learning Community comprises two
schools, one of which, Crosshill Special School, will be catering for 60 students aged 11-16
years who are in receipt of a Statement of Education Needs for moderate learning
difficulties. Although this may require some differences in design (such as the provision of
specialist furniture), all parts of the new learning community should be accessible to all and
meet the needs of all students.

3.15.1 Crosshill Special School


The Crosshill home-base will be organised around the need to receive and deliver
specialised learning and teaching. Some students will spend the majority of their time in
the home-base, others will be educated across the whole learning community. This will
mean that the majority of national curriculum requirements will need to be provided for in a
single setting. Physical Education and Outdoor Education will be accommodated within the
main facilities on site.

Areas of the Crosshill home-base will be ‘zoned’ to ensure this. The zones will be;
• Communications (focus on Speaking and Listening, Reading and Writing and Multi-
Media)
• Discovery (focus on Science and Number)
• Creative (focus on Art, Design Technology, Music and Performing Arts)
• World (Humanities, ICT and media)
In addition there will be a zone dedicated to ‘life skills’ to afford opportunity for personal and
social development in a real world setting.

The zones should be themed, furnished, fitted and equipped to provide a distinctive ‘feel’
and encourage a focus on particular curricular areas through the creative use of the space
and shape available; space should shape learning. The Crosshill home-base should reflect
the requirements of BB102 and in its entirety, should act as a safe haven within a ‘family’
environment.

3.15.2 SEN across the Campus


Additional learning support for those students who experience difficulties in academic
learning, but are not in receipt of a ‘statement’, will be based on an inclusive model.
Wherever possible then, learners will be supported in situ by the provision of additional
resources and be taught by trained, qualified and experienced staff. There may be need,
therefore, to disperse resources across all home-bases, as a single SEN area is not to be
considered as an option.

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However, because of their needs (and the needs of other students), those students who
require support for social, emotional and behavioural difficulties will have a separate and
distinct provision which they may access from time to time. This will take the form of a
‘stand-alone’ facility, with its own entrance and exit to the outside. This is currently called
the Support Centre, but will be re-named with the help of students themselves. Within the
facility there should be a variety of areas to allow for individual work, small group work and
social interaction. It should have a small catering facility and some recreational facilities.

3.16 Well Being


The well-being of all users of EBLC is of paramount importance. In this way, emotional and
physical health is vital in ensuring the highest quality educational facility. High levels of
social integration between all students and staff will be facilitated throughout the design and
be reflected across and beyond the whole campus.

There will not be one, single ‘staff-room’. Rather, all social areas will provide an opportunity
for positive social interaction. Some learning spaces will provide opportunities to share
pedagogy and practice through recording and observation facilities.

Within home-bases, staff work areas and private spaces will be available to all staff. All
work areas will have access to the ICT infrastructure and learning resources through
appropriate devices.

A variety of new and developed support staff roles will enable teachers and facilitators to
concentrate upon supporting and guiding learning. These will include data administrators;
in-class technicians; internet and intranet resource managers; media assistants; health and
welfare professionals, as well as vocational providers.

As personalised learning lies at the heart of the vision, the Learning Community will
incorporate facilities and resources that enable our learners to make the most of their
learning opportunities and to enjoy their learning.

Open access to a secure and safe ICT platform, sheltered recreational areas, safe pleasant
toilets, access to support and guidance mentors/ tutors, extended hours for learning and
off-site learning and high quality sports facilities will enable learners to engage with the
Learning Community and succeed personally.

Technology will be utilised to support the Every Child Matters agenda; in staying safe,
being healthy; enjoying and achieving, achieving economic understanding and making a
positive contribution for example, on-site and off-site access to health care and
mentoring/counselling, rewarding achievement and monitoring behaviour/attendance and
celebrating with external audiences will also be of vital importance.

3.17 Student Satisfaction


As enjoyment is a central pillar for this vision, the school will incorporate facilities and
resources that enable all learners to make the most of their learning opportunities and to
enjoy their learning. Learners will be proud to attend New East Blackburn Learning
Community and the school will be proud of its learners.

3.18 Student Engagement, Involvement and Leadership


Student engagement should form an integral and important part of the design process.
Reference should be made to the ‘Student Brief’ which was produced through work done
with the Sorrell Foundation, along with other engagement activities carried out in school.
A series of ‘design meetings’ should take place around the following areas
• Learning Spaces
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• Toilets
• Social areas (including external spaces)
• Dining

This will include consultation with students who are currently in Years7 – 9 at Crosshill,
Blakewater and Beardwood. In addition, the Learning Community is keen to involve
postentia future students who currently attend primary schools in the local area.

3.19 Community Engagement, Involvement and Leadership


Community engagement should form an integral and important part of the design process
and involve a wide range of stakeholders from the local community. A series of ‘design
meetings’ should take place around the following areas
• Shared internal spaces (e.g. heart space, dining, SLRC)
• Shared external spaces

3.20 Masterplanning
The LEP should consider the masterplanning implications of this site and work in
partnership with a wide range of stakeholders to ensure that maximum benefit is gained
from the developments at this location.

Section 4 – Accommodation requirements, including possible suiting of facilities and


pastoral arrangements
4.1 Spatial Relationships

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This diagram illustrates the relationships across the whole campus. The design and layout
of all the home bases will allow for maximum flexibility of the delivery of a theme/skills
based curriculum. The design must allow for different approaches to learning and groupings
of students. The spaces will be flexible and adaptable to suit large and small group working
and individual learning. Learners may be involved in one-to-one tuition, self-directing
groups, master classes etc. Projects being carried out by learners may include kinaesthetic
activities with large space demands and access to energy, water and material supplies.

Support spaces and equipment will be integrated into each home base to enable the
maximum number of adults to work as a team to encourage and support learners and also
to provide passive supervision. Each area should address different acoustic, lighting,
heating and ventilation demands and be capable of offering a range of ICT scenarios.

Each of the home bases will have the following features


• Large spaces for up to 90 students to meet
• Variety of flexible learning spaces including access to ICT
• Smaller areas for group work
• Staff work space
• Student storage facilities
• Leadership space
• Toilets for students and staff
4.2 Adjacencies and Linkages
The adjacencies within the campus are vital. In order to maximise the flexibility of space
there will need to be careful consideration of the siting and orientation of each home base.

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Designers should note the relationships indicated in the diagram at 4.1. In addition,
designers should note the adjacencies required between home-bases. For example, in
order to create a space able to accommodate 180 students simultaneously, two home
bases may need to sit ‘back to back’ – so each large space for 90 students can join with the
adjacent space to make a very large space for 180 students.

Foundation 1 home base with a capacity of 180 pupils (predominantly year 7) shows links
to Crosshill and Progress 1. There will need to be flexible teaching spaces to accommodate
different groupings of students, with possibly the ability to connect ‘back to back’ with
Progress 1 home-base to provide a large group teaching area for practical activities (to
accommodate 180 pupils). The wet area needs to be equipped to deliver some science
curriculum and /or art, so ideally water and gas are required.

Progress 1 with a capacity for 180 pupils (predominantly year 8) shows links to Foundation
and the Support Centre. Progress 2 with a capacity for 180 pupils (predominantly year 9)
shows links to the Support Centre and the academic vocational base. Academic/ vocational
home base with a capacity for 360 pupils (predominantly year 10 and 11) shows links to
Progress 2 and the Restaurant. The idea is to balance the provision of academic pathways
with vocational ones and to allow students to ‘taste’ different vocational options.

4.3 Heart Space (Assembly, Opening Minds and SLRC space)


Coming together in celebration of the Learning Community’s successes, watching a
performance or viewing pupils work are key elements of the Learning Community’s ethos,
and are seen as vital in expanding the community involvement in the Learning Community.

Set in a ‘heart-space’, there will be public performance and gallery spaces that are readily
accessible to both learners and the wider community. In addition, an ‘opening-minds’ space
is envisaged; this self contained room space will maximise the internal vertical dimensions
of the area to promote reflection, meditation and prayer. Designers should consider the
inQbate model used at Brighton and Sussex universities for further ideas about the
possibilities for this space – see website: http://www.inqbate.co.uk/images/inqbate
%20annual%20report%200708.pdf

The challenge to the LEP is to economise on the circulation and ancillary space to provide
this focal point for the Learning Community.

4.4 Assembly or Group Meeting Spaces


The Learning Community also wishes to celebrate its achievements, present performances
and facilitate large lecture learning in a space capable of seating 360 pupils or visitors. The
assembly space does not need to be a traditional school hall, but could be a performance/
presentation area with viewing steps. There should be an adjacency between the main
auditorium and the drama space at the heart of the school to facilitate the best and most
flexible use of these large spaces. This space should have a large projection facility and PA
system.

In addition to the assembly space within the central heart space, each of the home-bases
will feature a wide variety of spaces for individuals through to large groups.

4.5 Exam strategy


All students will study courses which lead to accreditation whether it is through modular
assessments or formal examinations. There will need to be sufficient space to seat up to
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180 students at once in examination conditions - these students will be dispersed around
the campus. The current exam strategy takes into account the need of learners and the
stressful nature of exams; with this in mind students are dispersed throughout the college
into smaller groups. The main school sports hall should not be used for exams. It would be
preferable to utilise areas within home-bases rather than the main school Auditorium for the
purpose of exams.

As more exams may need to be completed on-line, there should be appropriate provision
around the campus to enable students to take exams on-line, in small groups.

4.6 Dining and Catering


The Learning Community’s vision places emphasis on its role in promoting social skills and
a sense of community identity, the design therefore of the communal and social spaces is
of great importance. This particularly affects the layout and design of the Restaurant.

The Learning Community is still developing the structure of its day, but the intention is for
pupils to have access to healthy nutritional food throughout the day at a variety of outlets. It
is envisaged that there will be a large restaurant incorporating a number of satellite
social/dining areas. The LEP needs to consider how these areas can be located adjacent or
on route to the community out of hours facilities, ensuring high visibility and use. The new
facilities are required to provide a combination of cold and cooked meals and should have
the capacity to serve and/or seat (some students bring a packed lunch) the whole Learning
Community population albeit at different times of the day as all students will eat on site,
(with the exception of those who are being educated off-site or those who return home for
their midday meals). Students are not usually allowed to dine outside of the Learning
Community.

The Learning Community also seeks to develop a vocational curriculum utilising the
Learning Community as a teaching tool. In the context of catering, the school is keen to
further develop their existing strengths so high quality facilities in this area is particularly
important.

4.7 Social Learning Resource Centre (SLRC)


The SLRC should form a welcoming and inviting space at the heart of the school. Within
this space, individuals and small groups of students will be able to access books, ICT, and
other resources in a purposeful but informal learning environment. Youth groups should
also be able to use this space so some additional storage may be required. Students
should want to attend the SLRC therefore the design, layout and FFE should encourage
them to enter and use this informal learning space.

4.8 Staff and Administration Areas


The Learning Community wishes to present a friendly and business like atmosphere to
visitors and pupils when entering and circulating around the Learning Community. The
design will centralise and maximise administrative functions throughout the campus.

The administrative operation of the Learning Community should be a transparent and


visible process, enabling pupils to experience the functions of their Learning Community,
both as an observer and a participant.

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The Learning Community requires a combination of spaces to accommodate the
management of the Learning Community and curriculum, and will include offices, work
areas and meeting spaces. There will not be a central staff room.

Every home base area should provide some accommodation to allow for confidential
meetings and discussion. General staff facilities will be dispersed and provide both working
and social spaces, and be located to provide passive supervision of key areas such as the
restaurant and external areas.

Administration will be centralised, with a core management area located within the
Reception and Administration Area. This will be an area shared by both the Crosshill and
Blakewater staff. The administrative function for the schools will be shared. The core
management area will consist of offices for the Business Manager, Conference and
Training Room etc

The Head teacher and Senior Leadership Team (SLT) will be in shared, dispersed offices
throughout the campus. The head teacher and SLT will share with middle leaders/heads of
home base and rotate offices throughout the year. This is to assist with developing other
staff in leadership roles. For example the head teacher maybe based in the Foundation
home base with the head of home base for one term then move to another home base for
the next term.

There should be staff changing and showering facilities which could potentially double as
additional changing for performances.

Consideration needs to be given to out of hours and community staff work and rest space.

4.9 Design Considerations for Community Use


The LEP will need to consider how access can be facilitated out of school hours to
specified facilities, allowing for greater access at some times than at others. Security of un-
used space needs to be considered carefully. Access during school hours by the
community will be limited as the facilities will be predominantly at capacity with school use.
However, there may be occasions when this is possible. The LEP should be aware of the
latest guidance on dual use of school facilities and meet any appropriate national standards
e.g. Sport England.

All community areas must have:


• One control point and monitoring arrangement
• Access to accessible toilets and changing areas (including baby change facilities)
• Storage that can be shared or separated
• Links to Council ICT systems (eg use of the BeeZ card)
• Community information boards/ systems

Individuals and groups will be able to use the facilities during community times. The
aspiration is that on at least three evenings a week (6pm – 10pm) there will be youth /
community activities. The facilities required would be wide ranging depending on the
activities e.g. the SLRC, the Sports Hall or general learning areas. Also storage cupboards
for small items of equipment would be desirable. Access to refreshments and social space
will also be important.

4.10 Multi Agency Provision

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It is essential to the realisation of the vision that high quality provision is in place to support
learners, their families and the wider community. In this way, the new facilities should
include the provision of an integrated space to house outreach community services,
community police, health agencies and so on. This may take the form of ‘hot-desking’.

This space should be set at the entrance to the building to allow for secure access by the
public throughout the day. There will also need to be space for small groups to meet and for
private conversations.

Building on the model of Blackburn with Darwen’s Children’s Centre network and the
integration of services at a neighbourhood level, school facilities will promote and embed
similar integrated services to improve access to universal and targeted services for young
people aged 13-19, supported through enabling multi agency teams such as police, youth
services, Connexions and health and social care professionals to deliver services and work
on-site. These professionals will be able to utilise work spaces within the multi-agency
provision, as well as use the heart and social spaces, and book meeting rooms and
learning spaces as and when required to support the delivery of extended services.

The school recognises the expertise and resources that the voluntary and community
sector can bring in supporting young people and their families wider needs. The school will
support partnership opportunities to develop mutually beneficial arrangements.

4.11 Neighbourhood Community Hub


As part of the Council’s move towards Neighbourhood Community Hubs, the EBLC
development has been identified as a possible site for additional investment in order to
create a local community hub. Conversations are currently on-going to explore this
possibility and if funds were available, this would enable the multi-agency provision on the
EBLC site to be significantly enhanced with better hot-desking and meeting facilities.
Therefore, the design for the new facilities should be flexible enough to accommodate
enhanced provision should the funds become available.

4.12 Support Centre and Inclusion


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The philosophy underpinning the Support Centre rests of the central notion of inclusion
rather than exclusion. Acting as additional learning provision for students requiring
enhanced support in social, emotional and behavioural learning, the curriculum will offer the
students opportunity to reflect, consider and change, thereby overcoming key inhibitors to
their learning progress.

This separate and distinct provision will take the form of a ‘stand-alone’ facility, with its own
entrance and exit to the outside. This is currently called the Support Centre, but will be re-
named with the help of students themselves. Within the facility there should be variety of
areas to allow for individual work, small group work and social interaction. It should have a
small catering facility and some recreational facilities.

The Support Centre (name to be confirmed by student voice) will support different types of
students from those at risk of exclusion to those with different learning and emotional
needs.

The nurture area will be called ‘Alternative curriculum provision’ and include students who
are disengaged, autistic, ADHD, school-refusers and those students who come from other
schools, new entrants or transfer students according to their needs.

4.13 ICT and Media


The school requires ICT to be fully embedded within the building design and curriculum
provision and wishes to move away from the traditional ‘ICT Suite’ as main provision. Each
home base will need access to ICT (e.g. through wireless devices). In addition, the
vocational and academic base, as well as the music and performing arts area, will need
access to specialist ICT to support the in-depth study of specialist curriculum areas
particularly Creative and Media.

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4.14 Pupils’ personal Storage / Charging Requirements
Each home base area should be provided with unobtrusive secure pupil bag storage as
each pupil and member of staff will require secure personal storage and the ability to
charge portable ICT devices.

The successful solution will need to provide for easy and safe access by pupils, discourage
vandalism, located so as not to disturb learning, or impede circulation, this may be in a
covered circulation area or covered courtyard that is integrated with the external works
design.

4.15 Furniture, Fittings and Equipment (FFE)


The transformational nature of the Learning Community’s requirements will ultimately
require new kinds of fixed and loose furniture. To enable the spaces to be agile and flexible
the furniture will by necessity become more portable. The rapid development of ICT
equipment and its needs for servicing and connectivity will further influence the design of
the furniture solutions.

The Learning Community wishes its pupils to experience high quality environments where
the furniture, both fixed and loose is fully integrated with the design. Specialist spaces such
as laboratories and the arts areas will require transformational furniture.

FFE should be used creatively to reflect the learning space ambiance; for example, areas in
which predominantly discussion and reflection will be encouraged are themed accordingly
(use of calm shades on walls, use of fabric to minimise ’hard’ edges etc). FFE should be
flexible and capable of providing small, intimate group spaces and individual spaces to
promote and facilitate personalised learning, in addition to supporting students with specific
needs.

4.16 Home-Based Learning Spaces


Clearly identifiable ‘home-base’ areas will provide a variety of learning and teaching spaces
over extended periods. These home base areas will be organised around a ‘stage not age’
model and will allow for a progression of student learning based upon their needs not age.
Lessons will be longer (2-3 hours), however there will be shorter chunks of literacy and
numeracy. We do not want 30 students in boxes moving to bells in 45 minute blocks.
There will be 4 home-bases and a vocational base. Each of the zones will have the
following features
• Large spaces for up to 90 students to meet
• Variety of flexible learning spaces including access to ICT
• Smaller areas for group work
• Staff work space
• Leadership space
• Student storage facilities
• Toilets for students and staff

4.17 Crosshill Co-Located Home-Base (60 students).


The Crosshill School area of the East Blackburn Learning Community is based upon the
home-base model adopted throughout the campus. It will comprise a variety of flexible
teaching, learning and social spaces and accommodate around 60 students with special
educational needs and who are in receipt of a Statement. Pastorally, it will be organised on
‘family’ basis, comprising 8 -10 students with attendant teaching and support staff in each
of the 7 families. They will have their own ‘family’ base that will also be used for teaching
and learning.

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The home-base will be organised around 5 learning zones; World, Discovery,
Communication, Creative and Like-Skills. Each zone should have a distinct ‘character’
appropriate to the teaching and learning intended in that area. For example, ‘Discovery’
should reflect numeracy and science themes, whilst ‘Creative’ will reflect the arts and craft.

There is also a need for a designated social area (Chill Out zone), again designed and
themed to reflect purpose.

The Life Skills zone should be equipped to provide opportunities for learning practical and
domestic skills as well as offering facilities for personal hygiene. This zone may be linked
with the facilities envisaged in Foundation Home base, therefore adjacencies may require
consideration.

Communication Zone and Discovery/World Zone require a ‘flexible walling’ solution in order
to partition the areas.

In addition, the zones should provide suitable accommodation for 7 ‘family groups’ of
students and their staff. This will involve appropriate personal storage areas and individual
display opportunities for ‘show-casing’ students’ work. There is also a need to ensure
sufficient opportunity for displaying student achievement across the whole home base; this
may be fixed (display screens, monitors etc.) or portable (projectors, screens).

Formal and informal catering and dining facilities will be shared with the Foundation home-
base.

Although there is no requirement for a designated ‘staff-room’, consideration should be


given to shared staff work areas, staff personal storage space, resources storage and
meeting areas. The latter may be shared with the multi-agency support area adjacent to
the home base.
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Whilst primarily the administration of the school will be central, there is a need for a ‘meet
and greet’ point on entry to the home base. This should provide a welcoming reception
area.

Within the Crosshill Home base there should be designated ‘leadership space’ to provide
occupancy for a minimum of 2/3 members of the East Blackburn Learning Community
Senior Leadership Team (see timetables for each home base in appendix 1).

4.18 Foundation Home Base (180 students)


All students on entry at year 7 will be accommodated within this home base (180 students).
Individual learning needs will be identified and resources delivered as appropriate. Students
will spend approximately 80% of their curriculum time in this home base. Here they will be
taught a themed based curriculum by a team of staff. This will require some basic services
(water, gas) to accommodate basic science and arts teaching. They will go to other areas
of the school for PE, Technology and possibly some specialised science. Flexibility of
space will be required to accommodate different teaching groups and styles. 6 traditional
classrooms are NOT the preferred solution. Display space for students work and to support
learning should be maximised.

Formal and informal catering and dining facilities will be shared with the Crosshill home-
base.

Although there is no requirement for a designated ‘staff-room’, consideration should be


given to shared staff work areas, staff personal storage space, resources storage and
meeting areas.

Within the Foundation Home base there should be designated ‘leadership space’ to provide
occupancy for 2 members of the East Blackburn Learning Community Senior Leadership
Team and head of home base.

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4.19 Progress One Home-Base (180 students)
By and large, students will move to Progress One at the end of Year 7. However, they may
still benefit from a curriculum more appropriate to their particular needs and therefore, will
be taught in Foundation or Progress 2. Students will spend approximately 80% of their
curriculum time in this home base. Here they will be taught a themed based curriculum by a
team of staff. This will require some basic services (water, gas) to accommodate basic
science and arts teaching. They will go to other areas of the school for PE, Technology and
possibly some specialised science. Flexibility of space will be required to accommodate
different teaching groups and styles. 6 traditional classrooms are NOT the preferred
solution. Display space for students work and to support learning should be maximised.

Although there is no requirement for a designated ‘staff-room’, consideration should be


given to shared staff work areas, staff personal storage space, resources storage and
meeting areas.

Within the Progress One home base there should be designated ‘leadership space’ to
provide occupancy for 2 members of the East Blackburn Learning Community Senior
Leadership Team and head of home base.

4.20 Progress Two Home-Base (180 students)

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By and large, students will move to Progress Two and the end of year 8. However, they
may still benefit from a curriculum more appropriate to their particular needs and, therefore,
will be taught in Foundation, Progress One or Vocation Home Base. Students will spend
approximately 80% of their curriculum time in this home base. Here they will be taught a
themed based curriculum by a team of staff. This will require some basic services (water,
gas) to accommodate basic science and arts teaching. They will go to other areas of the
school for PE, Technology and possibly some specialised science. Flexibility of space will
be required to accommodate different teaching groups and styles. 6 traditional classrooms
are NOT the preferred solution. Display space for students work and to support learning
should be maximised.

Although there is no requirement for a designated ‘staff-room’, consideration should be


given to shared staff work areas, staff personal storage space, resources storage and
meeting areas.

Within the Progress Two home-base there should be designated ‘leadership space’ to
provide occupancy for 2 members of the East Blackburn Learning Community Senior
Leadership Team and head of home base.

4.21 Vocational/Academic Home Base (360 students)

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At the end of Key Stage 3 students will be offered a curriculum that affords opportunities for
an enhanced vocational element. However, they may still benefit from learning in other
home-bases. There will be a general vocational learning area/centre with specialised
resources to complement the area-wide 14-19 vocational plan.

This area will accommodate approximately two year groups, and will also need to be
welcoming to 14 – 19 students from other schools. The design will need to create informal
social spaces for students to relax and undertake collaborative and independent learning
activities. There will need to be strong connectivity between the vocational and academic
areas so that this feels like a home-base for all students, no matter what their personalised
pathway includes.

Vocational:
• Warehouse and taster experiences including gardening and highly practical activities
in highly resourced spaces etc
• Small group and tutorial spaces for individual and group learning, and for ‘think-tank’
and collaborative activities

Academic:
• Business standard fittings and outlay
• Learning spaces (not all traditional classrooms)
• High specification of personalised areas such as science etc

The learning will be highly personalised so will include vocational as well as, and / or
academic pathways.

4.22 External Sports Facilities

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East Blackburn Learning Community will be situated close to Queen’s Park which offers a
number of sports and recreational opportunities. Additional Sports and Leisure facilities
within the locality include:
 Audley Space for Sport and Arts Centre including All Weather Pitch
 Shadsworth Leisure Centre
 JJB fitness
 Power League Soccer Dome
 Audley Sports & Community Centre
 Daiseyfield Swimming Pool
 St Wilfrid’s Community Leisure Centre
 Queens Park Reservoir
 Queens Park and boating lake
 Blackburn Ice Arena
This flagship facility could be a premier pay and play facility, close to the centre of
Blackburn.

With state of the art facilities the school could become a centre of excellence for outdoor
adventurous activities and disability sports. Therefore consideration should be given to the
design of all sports facilities to cater for the needs of disabled persons. In particular
changing toilets and showering facilities. To create and maximise space for PE and to
support centre of excellence for PE, sport and Leisure, careful consideration should be
given as to the location of the school’s sports and leisure facilities in terms of control,
distance and circulation routes.

Space Functionality
required
Community Sports /community sports entrance catering for the following :
Access Reception desk to support two persons with desk space for 2 x PC’s (access to
Reception BwD systems for monitoring and access control)
1 x Till
Telephone, PA, CCTV
Secure cupboard space for stationery, resalable items, and storage of hire
equipment such as 20 x badminton racquets, football balls etc
1 x Safe
community notice boards and /or ICT/plasma/LCD functionality boards
Out of hours staff access to shared office and staff rest space
Flexible Adjacent to the Reception , this would be a flexible space and allow observation
Spectator/ of activity areas for learning, skills development and for community use:
meeting Canteen type serving top for sandwiches tea/coffee making microwave facility
space seating for 24 persons
viewing area looking on to Sports hall
Blinds/shutters to convert to a meeting space
Potentially be a youth space
Storage cupboards for small equipment
This space could double up as a teaching area during school time.
ICT functionality boards and flat screen TV facility
Notice boards
power points for use with ICT PC equipment
Dedicated Capacity for 30 pupils and associated furniture and resources
PE ICT functionality boards and Notice boards
classroom power points for use with ICT PC equipment
PE class to be incorporated and accessible for community use

40
Space Functionality
required
4x Designed to cater for the following:
badminton (Floor markings to National Governing Body Specifications and Sports Hall
court sports dimensions to comply with Sport England specification)
hall 1 x Netball Court
1 x Basketball court
1 x Handball/Futsal court
1 x Tennis
4 x Badminton courts
1 x Volleyball
1 x 5-a-side football and flush wall fixture points for 5-a-side football goals

Flush floor anchor/fittings to cater for Volleyball posts and for uneven gymnastic
bars (gymnastics strategically to be located in Sports hall to be overlooked by
spectator area.

Flooring: Should be of a design to cater for impact sports and above.

Dividing Curtains: Want to be able spilt hall in to two/three teaching spaces

Wall markings and equipment:


Basketball 2 x retractable Basketball boards ceiling/wall mounted to enable
matches. 10 x practice basketball boards positioned at various heights

Handball/Futsal goals
- locking bolt hooks to secure goals Handball /Futsal goals

4 x Cricket nets and associated protective rollout floor & netting

Ceiling – summersault Harness for Trampolining


ICT functionality boards and/or Notice boards
power points for use with ICT video analysis equipment located around Sports
hall

For school curriculum PE there is the need to provide an area and location within
the sports facilities providing adequate height and fixtures for a trampolining
somersault harness. This could be in the sports hall or multi-purpose room
dependent on design
Sports hall Significant space to take trampolines and Gymnastics equipment
storage
(opening to Small equipment storage space
the inside
and outside) Community shared use of large items of equipment is expected with secure
storage for small items separately for school and community

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Space Functionality
required
Dance /Multi Designed to cater for the following:
purpose Gymnastics
activity room Dance
area Aerobics
8/10 x Table tennis tables

Flooring: Should be of a design to cater for above sports and associated


storage.
Flush floor anchor/fittings to cater for uneven gymnastic bars
Appropriate wall markings and equipment
Safety wall mirrors along one wall with balance rail.
ICT functionality boards
power points for use with ICT video analysis equipment located around Sports
hall
Notice boards for posters teaching aids
ICT Multi Video positioning Performance analysis equipment built in to room
with ICT points for analysing performance
Dance area As indicated in the accommodation schedule
storage
Indoor & Require changing, shower and toilet facilities to cater for 130 mixed pupils at one
Outdoor time. This might consist of 5 x changing spaces of either various sizes, large
Changing changing space with smaller flexible changing spaces within the changing area.
Rooms/toilet Changing spaces will need to be interchangeable from male to female depending
s and on groups and lessons being provided.
showering
facilities Outdoor Changing: changing rooms will also be used for outdoor use therefore
they should also be designed to allow direct egress to outside facilities (unless
separate outdoor changing rooms are provided)

With a significant percent of pupils coming from an Asian background,


consideration around changing and showering should be paramount, this might
mean individual cubicles being provided for these purposes.

The design should aid/support supervision of pupils by teachers.

Within the changing facilities large plasma /LCD functional screens should be
strategically located where they are visible to pupils. The screens will be used for
short periods to aid learning and teaching and as such the design of bench
seating and height of hangers should take this into account.

One changing block for indoor and out would allow for greater flexibility

Community would need access to changing facilities providing access to both


indoor & outdoor facilities

To maximise school use of the AWP during curriculum and extended school
hours it is recommended that floodlights are included as part of this facility

42
Space Functionality
required
Staff Separate changing/toilets and showering for male and female staff space
changing required. Located very close (or incorporated into to pupils changing to support
and office supervision. Office accommodation to support planning, preparation, assessment
Accommodat and tutorials will also need to be provided. Desk space for PC’s and associated
ion equipment. Likewise this should also be located within the same areas and be a
central ICT point for the operation of LCD plasma screens etc
Space for notice boards
Staff changing facilities could be utilised for umpires, officials and referees
Fitness Gym Fitness Gym will require space for 24 fitness machines including for example:
With 4 x jogging
equipment 2 x steppers
that is 4 x rowers
suitable and 4 x cycles
appropriate 12 x resistance M/Cs
for use by ICT functionality boards and LCD/plasma ICT monitors strategically placed to
key Stage 3 support learning and Notice boards for posters/ teaching aids
young flush/floor mounted power points for M/Cs and video and sports science testing
people (as analysis equipment
recommende It is anticipated that this space is utilised by the community during programmed
d by AfPE times
guidance

Designed to cater for the following:


Floor markings to National Governing Body Specifications

5 x Netball Court
5 x multi 5 x Basketball court with Outdoor basketball boards
games 5 x Tennis courts
courts 2 x Multi-skills markings on 2 courts
(Fenced) Ball stop fencing with possible dividing fence to create additional learning
space(create 3 and 2 court configuration)

Enhanced for community:


Flood lights
(Possibly 2 x court with synthetic/Tennis carpet flooring & dividing fence).
synthetic pitch to cater for;
7 a side hockey
Synthetic 2 x Futsal courts
Pitch anchor points to secure goals etc
Teaching aids /targets etc strategically located and incorporated in to fencing.
(PE Dept to elaborate) e.g. cricket boards and rebound boards with targets for
improving shooting etc…

Enhanced facility to cater for


11 aside football and hockey (3 G synthetic pitch)
Enhanced 4/5 Futsal pitches
facilities for floodlights
Community Ball stop fencing to football specification

43
Space Functionality
required
Grass Football
football The school will require 4 x football pitches
pitches and 2 x youth size catering for key stage 3 pupils as per FA specifications
cricket 1 x pitch catering for key stage 4 and adults competing in local district and or
facilities Lancashire League as per County FA league specifications.
Goal posts etc to meet specifications should also be provided.
Grid markings and small sided games markings should also be provided to aid
learning and teaching

Rounders
The school require Rounders markings for the summer term 4 x Rounders
courts to Rounders NGB specifications

Cricket
1 x synthetic wicket strategically located within the cricket square, to maximise
outfield (without affecting football pitch lay out)
External School and community access
sports
equipment Storage of goals, nets, wickets
storage
Outdoor Due to the location of the school the terrain links to Queens Park Fishmoor
Adventurous Reservoir and its associated amenities. Outdoor learning spaces and outdoor
activities adventurous activities will play a key role in the education of EBLC pupils
facilities
Indoor Rock Climbing
Dedicated Rock Climbing room/facility designed to support disabled and
wheelchair users. (e.g. Bendrigg Lodge Outdoor Education Centre).

Cycle Track and Cycling Access to Queens Park


Out door secure storage for mountain bikes plus bikes catering for disabled
riders
The school may require pathway (from storage) directly linking to park.

Orienteering course with controls and maps should also be incorporated within
the boundary of the school grounds.
Playground markings incorporating coordinates etc

Risk Taking activities


-Outdoor giant Boulder for controlled risk taking
-Outdoor Traverse wall for controlled risk taking
-Designated managed area for problem solving
Outdoor play A concept already developed by Nike is the Nike Zone Park
areas
This consists of three distinct areas:
Quite Zone - where pupils and can sit quietly chat with friends etc
Play activity Zone – table top games, giant connect games. This could include
risk taking activities traverse wall etc
Sports Zone – fenced off area which can be used for invasion, striking and
fielding games etc.

Outdoor performance space

44
Section 5 – Opening Hours (as per option 1 at ITSFB)

CORE HOURS

Mon to Fri Mon to Fri Mon to Fri Saturday Sunday


(am) (pm) (Evening)
Full School 0730 to 1230 1230 to 1730 - - -
(41 weeks (41 weeks
pa) pa)

ADDITIONAL SCHOOL PERIODS

Mon to Fri Mon to Fri Mon to Fri Saturday Sunday


(am) (pm) (Evening)
Full School - - 1730 to 2200 0900 to 1300 -
(41 weeks pa (41 weeks
– 3 sessions pa)
per week)
Admin Area* 0700 to 0730 1230 to 1800 - - -
(41 weeks (11 weeks
pa) 0700 to pa)
1230 (11
weeks pa)
Community 0900 to 1330 1330 to 1800 1800 to 2200 0900 to 1300 1000 to 1400
Zone* (7 weeks pa) (7 weeks pa) (7 weeks pa (7 weeks pa) (48 sessions)
– 3 sessions
per week)

45
Section 6 – Details of Space Requirements to be Met
The area schedules ‘home-base’ diagrams have been developed with the schools via a
series of meetings and stakeholder workshops and represents the schools’ best attempts to
create the required environments that they seek within affordability constraints. An
Accommodation Schedule has been provided.

The school has provided several day in the life scenarios and expects the completed school
building to provide equally well for all, these are contained in Annex 3.

The Local Authority and East Blackburn Learning Community are mindful of the area
provisions of BB98 and BB102 and accept that the total area provision of BB98/102
underpins the funding model and are therefore not seeking to increase the area of the
schools. However, both parties wish to escape from the shackles of BB98/102 and use the
available space to best effect.

The Accommodation Schedule represents our best attempt to establish what sort of
provision would enable the building to meet the needs of East Blackburn Learning
Community and still stay within the limits of BB98/102 in terms of area. However, the LEP
may consider presenting alternative schedules they believe would have advantages for
EBLC.

In order to allow for utmost flexibility in design, the design team should not view the spaces
detailed within the accommodation area schedule as inflexible. The design team is
encouraged to develop solutions that allow for efficient but effective use of spaces
throughout the operational day. East Blackburn Learning Community is keen for the LEP to
challenge conventional thinking on the delivery of teaching and learning within the school
infrastructure and to develop designs, within allowable parameters, that provide better and
more efficient utilisation of space and ensure that space provision is idealised to suit
specific needs and the ability to deliver transformational learning.

In determining area, space or room sizes for the different requirements, the LEP is to
consider carefully how the different teaching and learning opportunities might be delivered
from these spaces in the future and are to ensure utmost flexibility to achieve this. The LEP
must also consider critical adjacencies within and between home bases and SEN provision
in every space.

In determining sizes and numbers of spaces, the bidder’s attention is drawn to the fact that
the DCSF capital allocation for this BSF scheme has been based on the BB98 and BB 102
gross floor areas for East Blackburn Learning Community. Whilst the LEP is encouraged to
include for all School requirements contained in the attached Area Schedules, solutions
must be achievable within the overall funding envelope.

46
Appendix 1

Class Timetable 2012

Crosshill Home Base

Class Class Class Class Class


F P1 P2 V1 V2

Day 1 L1/2 C1/2 D1/2 CR1/W1 EBLC

PE D1/2 L1/2 EBLC CR1/W1

Day 2 C1/2 D1/2 CR1/W1 EBLC L1/2

CR1 PE D1/2 L1/2 EBLC


C1/2

Day 3 D1/2 L1/2 C1/2 CR1/W1 EBLC

C1/2 CR1 PE EBLC D1/2

Day 4 W1 D1/2 L1/2 EBLC C1/2

D1/2 L1/2 C1/2 CR1/W1 PE

Day 5 D1/2 W1 CR1 LI/2 EBLC

L1/2 C1/2 D1/2 PE W1

47
` Class F Class P1 Class P2 Class V1 Class V2

Life Skills Communications Discovery (Ma) Key Skills Vocation


Day
1 PE Discovery Life Skills Vocation Key Skills
(Ma/Sc)
Extended Day Extended Day Extended Day E. D. E. D.
Options Options Options Compulsory Compulsory

Communications Discovery (Sc) World Studies Vocation Key Skills


Day
2 Creative PE Discovery (Sc) Key Skills Vocation
Extended Day Extended Day E. D. Compulsory Extended Extended
Options Options Day Options Day Options

Discovery (Sc) Life Skills Communications Key Skills Vocation


Day
3 Communications Creative PE Vocation Key Skills
Extended Day E. D. Compulsory Extended Day Extended Extended
Options Options Day Options Day Options

World Studies Discovery (Ma) Life Skills Vocation Key Skills


Day
4 Discovery Life Skills Communications PE Vocation
(Sc/Ma)
E. D. Compulsory Extended Day Extended Day Extended Extended
Options Options Day Options Day Options

Discovery (Ma) World Studies Creative Vocation Vocation


Day
5 Life Skills Communications Discovery (Sc) Key Skills PE
Extended Day Extended Day Extended Day Extended Extended
Options Options Options Day Options Day Options

48
Appendix 2a

Day in the Life of a Crosshill Student at the New East Blackburn Learning
Community

Dear EDDI,

Found my dad’s old school diary yesterday. First page was a puzzler. “Maple Hall High
School for Boys”. What’s a high school? Is it, like, on top of a mountain? Page 2 was no
better. “First lesson (lesson?) – Mathematics. 9.00am. What did he do till 9.00am? Lie in
bed?
Apparently, his maths teacher would be standing in the same room as him and hand out (!)
pieces of ‘paper’ which my dad would fill in and hand back! This went on all day (well, till
3pm) when he went home to watch TV. He did this for 5 YEARS, day-in, day-out (except
for one monster break in the summer) until he ‘left’ school. How can you ‘leave’ school?
Why would you stop learning? No way that would happen today……..

Monday (College Day 6)


07.30
No, no, no! Programmed my wrist-mate, EDDI, to wake me at 6; it’s 7.30 and I am so late.
Grab the one-piece and leg it to the BICS (1) stop. Thank goodness for Nike Quarks and
SMART insoles. EDDI blips (2) and now tells me he forgot to wake me? How can an
ePersonal Digitally Delivered Information device forget? He needs a serious re-programme
on my eDock at college. I’ll trade him for an ePet if he does it again.

Let me introduce myself. My name is Raz and I am 14 years old. I go to East Blackburn
College and attend Crosshill SWAS (3), my home-base. When I was younger I had some
problems with reading and stuff and had to go for some tests (4). Some of the time I get
extra help from my Personal Learning Enabler and others in the ALS team. Rest of the time
I just mix in with my mates in Well-Being, and PA (5) and stuff.
Anyway, today we are scheduled for a project day………

08.30
EDDI blips me and lets me know that Zak, Magda and Kubra are on their way over to our
Project Home Base. Magda says she’ll be a bit late as she’s decided to bike it . The speed
she pedals it’ll take 3 weeks to get here. She seriously needs a session in Well-Being on
the spinners.

(1) Blackburn Inter College Shuttle (service)

(2) ‘Blip’: To send or receive a call via a Wrist -Mate EDDI

(3) SWAS – School Within A School

(4) Raz was assessed under the ‘Assessment of Additional Learning Support (ALS) Needs;
Ed. Act 2009

(5) Well Being -Sports/Leisure/Recreation; PA - Performing Arts

09.00
Magda lands and well-watered, we get down to our project. We have been asked to look at
‘Designing our School of the Future’. We have already done loads of research and come
across a college in Sweden that has done good work in this area. We have blipped them
49
and had one Vid-Con (6), but we have this ‘out there’ idea of hooking up for a real F2F (7)
with the Swedes. They sound cool. Big issue – lack of cash.
We chat, we bounce (8), we surf (9)… we struggle.

We vote to call for back-up. A quick blip to Ivan, our Learning Enabler, and he’s soon F2F;
he has one of his work spaces here at our college. He listens as Zak describes our
problem (Ivan is great at listening – he likes to let us do the talking).
He listens, he thinks, he points to the standby light on the Vid-Con unit.
We look, we think, we go blank.
“How much energy,” says Ivan, “do you think that unit is burning?”
We shrug.
“How much do you think it costs to keep that unit on standby?” he continues
We now begin to see the light.
“So if,” picks up Magda, “we switched that unwanted unit totally off, we could save the
college energy?”
“How much,” says Ivan “do you think it cost to supply all the energy to your project base?
Well-Being? The café?”
The light now glares at us.
“So,” I say (cos’ I’m the real brains of this team) we could raise cash for our visit by saving
the college money?”
Ivan just shrugs.
“I’m just asking the questions. You guys need to work out the answers.” And off he goes.

We’re on it. Team jobs and timelines are sorted out. We call Ivan on Vid-Con and run it by
him. He likes the plan, and with a couple of pointers as to who we might want to F2F with,
arranges a session with the team at 2pm. We check with EDDI and he can see no conflicts,
so we’re on.
“Look at the time.” says Kubra “. My BS (10) is way low. Let’s eat.”

(6) Vid-Con – Video Conference using teleportation imagery

(7) F2F – Face to Face (to meet in person)

(8) ‘Bounce’ – ideas around the team

(9) ‘Surf’ – Access the College Secured WEB browser

(10) ‘BS’ – Blood sugar (energy level)

Mid Project Break (about 12.30)


Over our refuel stop in the ‘Nigella’ Bar we chill and chat. There’s a movie in PA, but we’ve
seen it and it’s rubbish (‘Minority Report’– so retro!). I use my FPR (11) to pay for my lunch.
EDDI tells me I’m low on body fluid level and reminds me to check into the Health Kiosk in
Well-Being. That’s OK ‘cos I fancy this girl in my Home-Base group who helps the medical
officer as part of her VE (12) course.
Some guy from our end of town is playing a guitar in the CAA (13). He’s not bad so we sit
and take it in for a while.
Ivan blips us.
“How’s it going?” he asks, meaning ‘you lot get back to work’. He must have picked up our
EDDI’s on his Student Movement Matrix. We need to re-schedule our meetings with our
PM’s (14) so that we can get on with our project.
We blip Ivan to keep him off our backs and he tells us that he that he wants to meet. We
F2F and he tells us that he has got some money numbers from Central (Records & Admin).
He has arranged an F2F at 2pm with the College Money Guy and us.
50
We pitch our plan to him.
“So let me summarise your fiscal proposal”, he starts. Ivan waves him out of the room.
They chat and come back in.
‘So what you want to do is this, money wise”, he says. “By running an awareness
campaign you hope to save the college money. In return, you want us to pay for your trip to
Sweden.”
He looks over his glasses at us. We wait.
“Sounds good to me.” he says at last.

3.00pm
We spend the rest of the planned day trying to sort out the details of our campaign; pod-
casts, plasma screen eposters, booking a slot in the PA for next week. One of our co-
worker teams have been looking for a drama project. We persuade them to write a script
for our promo play, ”Save it, Save us”. We blip our Communications, Numeracy and
Enterprise Specialist LE’s to keep them up to speed and persuade them we’re doing good
stuff.
By 4pm we call it a day and I head for a session on the motorised climbing wall, whilst
Magda and Kubra go for a swim and a sauna. Zak is a real geek so he’s off to the VR (14)
room for some serious 3D online gaming.
EDDI checks the BICS service is on time as I’m gonna meet my dad later.
Tomorrow the real work on our school of the future will start!

(11) FPR – Finger Print recognition

(12) VE – Vocational Education

(13) CAA – Community Access Area (secured from rest of college)

(14) PM – Personal Mentor

(15) VR – Virtual Reality

51
Appendix 2b

A Father’s perspective (to be read in conjunction with Appendix 2a)

Raz’s Dad’s Story.

Caught Raz looking through my old school diary the other day. He kept chuckling to
himself, the way he does. I asked him what was amusing him. He said I was so ‘retro’ and
walked off still chuckling. I noticed he had left his watch mate thing (he calls it Ernie, I
think) on the table so I decided to give it a try out. I think I might have interfered with his
personal set up, because it said ‘Are you sure you want to proceed with these settings?’
Still, no harm done.

Raz’s mum and I are so pleased with his progress this last three years that he has been
going to Crosshill SWAS at East Blackburn College. When he was in Phase One (primary
to us old-timers), we had real concerns over the difficulties he faced with his reading and
writing. Sure, he had extra help, but as he got older he became more frustrated and
depressed. His self-confidence, so high when he was a toddler sunk lower and lower.
Nowadays, he’s different kid; just like his old own little self.

Yes, we did have some misgivings when they recommended a place at Crosshill SWAS at
EBC. However, we met the Head and her staff and they explained the ways in which they
could help Raz, and the resources available (mind-blowing), and we were sold.

I remember very clearly the day we (Me, Raz and his Mum) arrived for our introductory visit.
We took the Inter-College Shuttle Bus that connects all the Phase 2 and 3 learning centres
in Blackburn with Darwen. The cash-less system (it’s a free credit system based on a
finger print recognition of students’ ‘accounts’) delivered us to the Community Entry Point.
Once again, we checked in via the FPR kiosk. We were shown how each student’s EDDI
automatically logged them onto the central computer system, allowing them to be
registered, tracked and, most importantly, to be kept safe throughout the day.
My first thought was, not like my school days! Where were the narrow and dark corridors
bursting with bustling pupils? Where were the teachers haranguing kids into lines prior to
entry into their domain, the classroom? What happened to the smell of overcooked
cabbage?
This light, bright, airy space still bustles, but the noise and activity are different. This is
purposeful, calm, relaxing.

Our tour started in Raz’s ‘Crosshill Home-Base’, where we met his Personal Mentor,
Maggie, and his Principal Learning Enabler, Ivan. They will stay with Raz right through
Phase Two and into Phase Three as he moves into further education and training. Maggie
described how Raz’s additional learning needs would be supported by a dedicated team of
Learning Enablers; they will advise and guide him through the next, crucial years of his life.
She described how his personalised curriculum and timetable would teach him to be
healthy, stay safe, to enjoy and achieve in his work. It would also encourage him to make a
positive contribution to our communities and how to achieve economic well-being.

All this accomplished through ‘lessons’ I never heard of! Personal Organisation Skills,
Creative Thinking, Critical Analysis, Communications, Functional Numeracy, Well-Being,
Performing Arts, Life Skills, Team Project work; the list went on, but somehow made sense.

52
If you want your children to grow up healthy, safe and prosperous you need to give them
the skills and knowledge to do just that.

We were really impressed with the atmosphere in this Home Base. This ‘School within a
School’ provides a specialist provision for those students assessed as needing Additional
Learning Support, like our Raz. A lot of these kids, we were told, find it harder to cope with
the bigger groups and more academic learning that goes on in other colleges. Some of the
students will spend most of their day in this area of school with their own Learning
Enablers. They are taught the skills and knowledge they will need for Phase 3 and beyond,
but also have the chance to practice these skills, and take part in other activities, in other
parts of the college. Other kids, like our Raz, spend more time out of their home base
involved in project work; it gives them a good chance to meet, learn and socialise with other
kids in the college.

The room layout in the Crosshill home base confused me at first. I couldn’t work out what
subject was delivered in which room. The Head seemed pleased with this and explained
that the rooms were designed to be multi-functional; science could be taught in the same
area as art, as the services required were the same. Project Rooms allowed the students
to work across ‘traditional’ subject boundaries (so beloved in my day!). And throughout the
whole home-base, students’ work shown off to its best. The atmosphere was fantastic and
we could sense the care and concern for the students from all the ‘helpers’ we came
across.

Everywhere we went in Crosshill and other parts of the college we got the same
impression. Young people engaged in learning real-life skills, knowledge and attitudes.
Some kids were in lectures (real and virtual), some in Project Bases, some in Study Kiosks
finishing off their assignments (just in time, by the look of concentration on their faces.

The technology blew us away. Each student with their own ePersonal Digitally Delivered
Information device (not Ernie, got that wrong) capable of calling up (‘blipping, I think they
call it) anyone, anywhere, anyplace, anytime. A portal to every piece of information ever
recorded. It also acts as a communicator, navigator, personal assistant and, especially in
Raz’s case, his own banker! I have to top up his credit mind. Still, I get to know what he
spends my money on. And he doesn’t get away with buying junk food!

We visited several Home Bases in the college; the Well-Being centre, the Performing Arts
areas (indoors and out), the many cafes, restaurant and, for when the kids go home, bars.

One impression sticks more than anything; the air of confidence and happiness in all the
students. They wanted to be there, wanted to learn, wanted to do well.

We went home thinking Raz was going to do really well here. Raz thought so too.

53
Appendix 2c (to be read in conjunction with Appendix 2b)

Notes of meeting as dictated to Central Records and Admin (progress report area)
concerning Raz Murray (d.o.b. – 13th September 2001)

Wednesday 15th October 2015

Voice mailed by ; Maggie Sabin (Personal Tutor)

In Attendance ; Ivan Buchovski (Principal Learning Enabler)


Sadia Patel (LE – Communications)

The purpose of this scheduled weekly meeting is to review the Raz’s progress against the
targets set last time.

Key targets –
• To undertake a team-project (‘Design a School for the Future’) aimed at developing
and enhancing communication skills (particularly speaking and listening and public
speaking), co-operative inter-personal skills development and task management:
• To further develop functional numeracy in regard to budget projection;
• To undertake at least 3 sessions aimed at increasing his Cardio-Vascular Efficiency;
• To be involved in at least one activity in Performing Arts.

These targets are set alongside those identified and agreed in his Personal Education Plan
(detailed in his last full ‘Assessment of ALS Needs; Education Act 2009; Section 3.1)

Using the mentor’s eDock facility, we were able to access Raz’s Learning Log for the past
week and scrutinise his activity.
We have found that he has attended 100% of scheduled sessions, attended 2 sessions in
Well-Being, but has not attended Performing Arts.
His punctuality has been 91% to scheduled sessions.
He has successfully taken part in team-project work, although this is still ongoing. He
managed the task well and was able to make positive contributions to the team. He
requires re-assessment in communications to establish clear progress against targets. He
coped well with budget management but did require additional support in forecasting.

We are a little concerned that Raz may have under-estimated the complexity of the project.
He is ably supported by his team members, but we feel he will require ALS with his
communications skills, if he is to take a fair share in presenting their Business Plan to the
Bursar.

Recommendations of the meeting (translated into targets); Actioned By

• That Raz attends at least one additional session with ALS in Communications; IB
• That a Phase 3 student undertaking Business and Enterprise VE Studies be
seconded onto the project team to strengthen up the preparation and presentation of
the Business Plan; IB
• To discuss Raz’s punctuality with him; MS
• To ensure Raz balances his curriculum with at least one session in PA; MS

54
• To remind parents to check Raz’s medical information and ensure he attends his
dental check-up in Well-Being at 3.00pm on Friday 17th October. MS

Copies of this report to be voice mailed to:

Heatdteacher; CSWAS
Headteacher : EBC
SENCO; CSWS/EBC
Student ; R.Murray
Parents G. and S Murray
BwD Learning Support Advisor H. Corbett

Maggie Sabin

Ivan Buchovski

55
Appendix 2d (to be read in conjunction with Appendix 2c)

Post Script

As most of the students and visitors leave for home, are finishing off work in Extended
Learning or just taking in a session in Well-Being, outside the college the floodlights kick
on.

A crowd has gathered to watch the EBC soccer team warm up in preparation for tonight’s
local Veterans League game. Raz waves to his dad, who, sporting his usual number 10
jersey, responds by attempting a forward roll.

Raz looks around at the college building and watches the sun’s setting reflection on the
myriad of glass-walling, on the burnished aluminium finishes in the college colours of yellow
and blue. He sees the solar-powered lighting illuminate the trees and shrubs, showing off
the award winning Horticultural Studies VE planting scheme. He watches the college wind
turbine blades turn gently in the evening breeze

He ponders his dad’s old school diary.

“I guess”, he says to himself as he watches his dad helped up, “it just wasn’t like this in your
day”.

56
Appendix 3

A day in the life of a Learner at the East Blackburn Learning Community

My alarm goes off at 7.00am and using my hand held device, I check my learning schedule
for the day. I have got a busy but exciting day ahead. I send a message to my Life coach,
Mr Davies (who is also the EBLC Site Supervisor) and arrange to meet him in the Learning
Mall at 10.00am. He sends a message back almost immediately saying that will be fine.
He is just opening up the campus, ready for some of the early starters. That should give
me at least 2 hours enterprise time in the Learning Mall before I meet him. This term, I am
working on an enterprise project with a group of other learners on selling accessories for
mobile devices to both staff and learners. My role in the group this time is to organise the
finances for the project and I am putting all of the work and evidence that I collect towards
my accreditation in numeracy skills. Next time, I am involved in enterprise work, I am
hoping to be the chairperson hopefully I can talk this through with Mr Davies when I see
him later.

I am running a little late, so I catch the Learning community shuttle service to EBLC.
Usually I cycle or walk there. I also use this service when my learning time is at other
Learning communities around Blackburn and Darwen. I swipe my recognition card to
register my attendance. There is only one seat left on the bus, so I sit next to April Smith
who is a Crosshill learner at EBLC, she’s really nice and we are both in the same group for
Lifeskills on a Wednesday afternoon. I get another message on my hand held device from
my sister Gail, she wants to know if I can meet her and mum at the internet café just
outside the foundation learning base at 12.30pm. She says that mum will have just finished
in the EBLC Community gym and she will have an hour to kill before her masterclass on
Business literacy. Mum is doing really well, she’s already got level one. She’s in the same
learning circle as my best friend Amy. One of my other friends Melissa looks after my
younger sister Ellie in the EBLC crèche whilst my mum is at the gym and her class.
Melissa is doing her voluntary work at the crèche over the next few months.

After a few minutes the shuttle service arrives at the EBLC campus and I meet some of my
friends at one of the outside learning spaces for a quick fair-trade coffee from one of the
solar powered machines outside. I use my swipe card to buy it – these are great, I use it to
buy food and drink on any of the learning communities in Blackburn and Darwen and it also
registers all of my learning time on any of them (including the shuttle service). My hand
held device bleeps a reminder about the Science masterclass in the accreditation Learning
base at 2.30pm today. I quickly send a reply back to show that I have received the
message and that I can make it.

When I get to the Learning Mall it is already buzzing with lots of learners and staff either
working on a stall or shopping around for things to buy. The next couple of hours go really
quickly and I complete some of the financial records for the business and talk it thorough
with some of the other learners in my group. One of the learners in the group Sam is doing
really well, he’s 2 years younger than me but he is almost ready to move into the
accreditation learning base. If he carries on like this he will be finished at EBLC at 14 years
of age and will be able to move onto FE. He says he wants to be at university by 16 – at
this rate he’s going to do it!!! It’s almost 10.00am and I can see Mr Davies enter the
Learning Mall, I wave at him to attract his attention. We sit down in a quiet learning area
and we start to talk about my learning targets and plan my next few days learning
57
experiences. He reminds me that I promised him I would help at tonight’s performance by
the local dramatic society in the EBLC theatre at 7pm. I have helped before when they
have used the building at the weekend to rehearse. We book another time for later on this
week to meet up in case my learning schedule needs to be rearranged. It’s now 10.30am
and Mr Davies needs to go to his learning circle. He’s taking an ICT qualification and he’s
in the same learning circle as my friend George.

I go to find a quiet learning space and manage to find one near my home base. I log on
and complete some literacy work. I have literacy and numeracy sessions each day but they
only last 20 minutes each. My self assessment suggests that I am almost ready to
complete the final assessment on Level 2 literacy. I register on line and book a time when I
can do this. I have just realised that it’s almost 11.00am , so I need to make my way to the
conference centre to set up for the presentation at 3pm. I have been working with my
project team for almost 3 weeks now and we feel that we are now ready for our
assessment. One of the group, John, who is an adult learner has been really helpful. He
works just down the road at a local company. I am really excited about this presentation
because if I pass this time then I will have completed level 3 in communication skills. We
will be presenting to Sam, a director of the firm where John works. We’ve all worked really
well as a team and hopefully we’ll get maximum reward points for this and I can put these
towards the EBLC Ski trip planned in February.

Wow, the presentation went really well and we all passed. No time to celebrate; need to
meet mum and Gail for lunch. Mum’s on a diet (that why she keeps using the gym – she
also attends pilates and yoga sessions at night on the campus), so it’s great that all of the
food offered across the campus is low calorie and healthy. Kirsty, our next door neighbour
is serving behind the counter in the cafe. She recommends that we choose the pasta dish
which she spent the morning preparing in the catering kitchens. She is hoping to be a chef
when she leaves EBLC. Last week as part of her Catering course she demonstrated to an
adult evening class how to make a well balanced meal for a teenager. Her name is now up
on one of the Display walls of fame in EBLC and her name has been put forward for a
national cookery competition.

It’s now almost 1.30pm and I agreed yesterday that I would meet Aquib (a foundation
student) who I have been mentoring for the last term outside the faith room. He has just
completed his daily prayers and we walk for a few minutes to find a quiet spot. He says he
has had some concerns regarding one of his friends falling out with him and I come up with
a few possible suggestions (talking to his life coach, speaking to one of his learning
mentors and possibly booking an appointment with the counselling team- they were really
useful when I was really upset after my uncle passed away). I also ask him where is he up
to with his learning and he shows me the learning targets that he and his life coach agreed
earlier today. I am so proud of Aquib, when he started at EBLC; he was really struggling
with his learning so he had lots of one to one support as well as having some nurturing
sessions. He also spent some of his week in the Crosshill base. I love going there, it’s top.
Last year I did a course on Media studies and Mr Taylor who mainly works in the Crosshill
base was my learning tutor At EBLC there are fantastic facilities for media drama and
music - they are so good that a local rock band came to cut their first record!!!! I have
booked to see them play on a Saturday in the EBLC theatre in 2 weeks time. Two of my
friends are helping them set up for the gig as part of their community work project.

Gosh – didn’t realise the time and I have just had another reminder on my hand held device
about the Science masterclass at 2.30pm!!! Aquib and I quickly check using our hand held
devices our learning diaries for next week and we agree a time when we can both meet up
again. Just manage to get to the master class on time and Mrs Hussain, our science
lecturer is delivering this masterclass. She is awesome her classes are always really
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interesting and she uses lots of global links and holograms to reinforce our learning. The
last masterclass I had with her, we had Einstein there and we were able to fire questions at
him about relativity. After the masterclass, I find a quiet learning spot to meet with one of
my learning mentors. She is called Samantha and she is an older student at EBLC, who is
specialising in Science. We discuss the topic from the masterclass and we start to work on
my Science challenge. This is a 6 week challenge, and I have almost completed it. The
class I have just been in has really helped me focus my ideas and deepen my learning and
understanding of the topic. Samantha gives me some good ideas and I agree with her to
meet up in 2 days time.

It’s now 3.30pm and all of EBLC learners and staff start to tidy the area that they are in at
that time. Everyone does this for 15 minutes. When I first started at EBLC, I thought this
was really strange but it really works and it makes me and my friends think about litter, the
environment and leaving things tidy for the next group. It’s all about working together as a
team. I’m really proud to be a learner at EBLC. At 3.30pm, I leave the campus and swipe
my card on the way out. Wonder what I should wear tonight when I come back to help with
the play??

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