Nethergate Special School

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Nethergate Special School


Nethergate School
Swansdowne Drive
NG11 8HX
Tel: 01159 683400


Project Status-completed


The Nethergate Special School caters for pupils of ages 5 to 16 with moderate learning difficulties. The existing main school building dates from 1963 and has been extended several times since its construction. With pupil numbers increasing to 70, and 8 classes having to find space within the 7 existing classrooms, the school was in desperate need of refurbishment and extension.


The Project and Design:


The current school buildings sit as pavilions within the green parkland setting along Swansdown Drive. The school prides itself on a whole-school family ethos. The new building aims to maintain the close-knit feel whilst providing vital additional area to ensure the school continues to cater for the needs of the students and wider community.

The main aims of the project were to:

  • Improve access into the school site for pupils, staff and visitors and to create an open and welcoming entrance.
  • To increase the number of classrooms from 7 to 9, giving each key stage a dedicated age appropriate space and giving the pupils a sense of transition and progression through the school.
  • To provide each class base with a dedicated outdoor play area, connecting the buildings with the surrounding landscape.
  • To provide specialist teaching areas for food technology, design technology and art, teaching life skills in a mainstream schooling environment.
  • To improve the whole school facilities, forming library and social space alongside a whole school gathering area for assembly and celebration.

The early design work created 2 additional classrooms within the existing main school building, providing a run of Key Stage 2 and 3 class bases and opening out to the more private school gardens at the rear of the site. Key Stage 4 was provided with a separate hub at the front of the site in a more adult environment. A second existing building was converted into dedicated specialist teaching spaces with separate gardens and outdoor teaching space. To the front of the school an extension now provides staff accommodation, a new entrance and a whole school assembly space. This new extension forms the third side of a landscaped entrance courtyard onto which the 'whole school' spaces open, providing outdoor teaching, performance and social gathering space.