Penarth Learning Community
The school comprises St Cyres Secondary school and Ysgol Y Deri which saw Ysgol Erw'r Delyn, Ashgrove School and Ysgol Maes Dyfan special schools coming together into a central learning hub, creating the largest learning facility in Wales.
Penarth Learning Community comprises a mainstream comprehensive school with the capacity for 1285 pupils, together with a special educational needs (SEN) school, catering for pupils with a wide spectrum of learning needs including those with learning and physical difficulties and those on the autistic spectrum.
This ambitious 23,500m2 scheme, which has been five years in the making, sees special need pupils being taught in the same facility as mainstream secondary school pupils, with the aim of delivering inclusive education and a wide range of learning opportunities under one roof. Together with the learning facilities for both schools, there is a 1500 square metre respite centre, allowing 19 pupils to stay over at any one time to provide respite to their families.
The new school benefits from an innovative delivery of education, utilising the latest wireless technology with LCD screens and tablets used for teaching.
Sporting facilities at St Cyres School include two multi-use gymnasiums and a third generation all-weather artificial turf pitch. There are also external teaching facilities, such as a wildlife garden and allotments.
The SEN school features a sensory room and a sensory and splash pool, along with a variety of specially designed classrooms.
The project offered the opportunity for targeted recruitment and training and has seen many local people employed during the building phase, delivering 6,402 person weeks of employment, enabling 184 new entrants to construction, with 83 apprentices and trainees employed on the project. The project reinvested around 80% of construction costs back into the local economy.
As well as providing a first-class learning facility, Penarth Learning Community is available for use by the wider community, with the provision of modern sports facilities. Ysgol Y Deri will open its hydrotherapy pool, physiotherapy suites and other specialist areas so that they can be used by families and carers within the community looking after adults and children with special needs.