Southwark council has appointed Cullinan Studio to deliver a new therapy-focused primary school for pupils with high social, emotional and mental-health needs.
The practice will create a new 56-pupil home for Beormund Primary School on the site of the former Bellenden School in Peckham. Beormund is currently based in the Borough area but the council is looking to redevelop the site with a scheme that includes around 100 new homes.
Cullinan Studio said Beormund’s pupils are taught in small classes of no more than eight, with teachers looking to deliver the national curriculum alongside other learning styles and support provided by a team of therapists.
“The children arrive with huge barriers to learning,” the practice said. “They often have difficulty regulating their emotions, processing language and expectations, adhering to social norms, building relationships and verbalising how they think and feel; complex emotions which manifest in challenging behaviours.
“Having been excluded from mainstream settings, some often have a disassociation to education, a mistrust of adults and low self-esteem. Collectively, the school team, seek to empower the children to hold a positive view of themselves and reignite their love of learning.”
The practice said Southwark council’s aspiration was for a school that would inspire and have a positive influence on outcomes, and for a building that is energy efficient, maximising natural site characteristics for energy-generation and conserving resources.
Cullinan Studio said it planned to deliver a net-zero carbon scheme, both in terms of energy use and embodied carbon, and would use prefabrication to speed construction and improve quality.