Construction work has officially begun to expand Horizon School, formerly known as Harbour School.
In February 2022, Suffolk County Council received planning permission for the development, which will allow the school in Saturn Close to increase its pupil numbers from 45 to 99 places.
Horizon School for vulnerable children, including those with special educational needs and disabilities, comprises 3 sites; Horizon School Secondary, Horizon School Primary and Horizon School Dragonfly. The expanded facility will alleviate the pressure on places for some of the most vulnerable young people in Lowestoft and Waveney, where demand outstrips the supply of places.
The consolidation of Horizon School onto the single site in Lowestoft is an essential element in the county council’s plan to meet the growing demand for alternative provision in the county.
Joanna Lawrence, Headteacher at Horizon School, said, “It is fantastic to reach this exciting point in the expansion of Horizon School. Ever since I took over this role, five years ago, we have aspired to provide students in North Suffolk Pupil Referral Units with an appropriate learning environment. The new building will inspire the children instead of limiting the curriculum they receive. The ground breaking event cemented that our vision is going to become a reality for the students in North Suffolk and we look forward to seeing our building come to life.”
Rachel Hood, Cabinet Member for Education, SEND and Skills at Suffolk County Council, said, “This school will be a real asset to families and children in the local area. It is part of our significant building programme to provide at least 879 specialist places across Suffolk for children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities.”
The scheme, which is being built by Barnes Construction and project managed by Concertus who are also providing a multi-disciplinary design service, will accommodate a new stand-alone block, and will feature outdoor raised planting, greenhouse areas, and a multi-use games area. Having sufficient outdoor space to enable physical exercise is invaluable to improving the engagement, learning, wellbeing, and health of the children. Internally, in addition to six new classrooms, the building will host a new food technology room, a sensory room, a hall, a library, movement therapy room and a studio.
Charles Coulson, Associate Director at Concertus said, “We are pleased to be able to celebrate this fantastic milestone at Horizon School. The expansion will provide high quality learning environment for the children in the local community. We look forward to working with Barnes Construction and seeing the project progress.”
The new building is due to welcome pupils in Spring 2023.