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Topping out ceremony marks key milestone for Silverwood School build

Silverwood School pupils have signed off a piece of history as the new build at their school reaches a key milestone

Published 12 December 2022

Silverwood School pupils have signed off a piece of history as the new build at their school reaches a key milestone.

Silverwood is a school operating across three campuses in Chippenham, Trowbridge and Rowde and is for children and young people with special educational needs and/or disabilities.

Young people joined a special  "topping out" ceremony to mark the highest point of the build for their new classes and additional facilities at the Rowde campus. The build will extend the existing campus to provide a high quality provision for 350 pupils by Autumn 2023.

Young people joined representatives from the school, Wiltshire Council and developers Willmott Dixon to sign a piece of beam - symbolically marking the highest point of the building.

Wiltshire Council has organised the build to help provide sufficient places into the future. The designs were informed by feedback from a series of workshops and online meetings with the school community, local people, families and staff.

The work will include creating a 'school within a school' feel with a community of small teaching clusters that will provide a range of specialist teaching spaces, therapeutic support, and quiet dining. Also planned is a hydrotherapy pool, a new all-weather sport pitch, new playing fields, landscaping, and ecological enhancements. The new facilities create exciting new learning spaces for Early Years/Reception aged children, through to post-16 learners, each with their own designated areas with age appropriate facilities.

Cllr Jane Davies Cabinet Member for SEND said: "We were here for the ground breaking earlier this year and now we are back marking another key milestone. We are committed to providing more SEND places in Wiltshire and this major commitment here at Silverwood shows we are ready to invest and provide places where they are needed. Having the pupils join us was an example of how important it has been for the entire school community to be a part of this development every step of the way."

Sean McKeown, Executive Headteacher at Silverwood School said: "Silverwood pupils and their families were involved in helping shape this new build which will not only provide additional classrooms but also create an exciting space where our pupils can learn, relax and play and enjoy their time at school. The whole development has helped our pupils understand about using environmentally friendly materials and preserving the nature around the site. We are absolutely delighted we are getting closer to the day when we can start to use this much needed new facility."

Richard Poulter, Willmott Dixon managing director for the Central South region said: "We are delighted to be marking a key milestone in the project. The new school will provide a building that not only provides those learning within its walls with a state of the art facility but is also a building that adds positively to the surrounding community and environment.

"Sustainability is at the heart of our business and through our 2030 'Now or Never' sustainability strategy, we have pledged that by the end of 2030 all our new buildings and major refurbishments will achieve net zero operational carbon.  Through our work at Silverwood School, we are proud to be accelerating our commitment."

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