The Theme

Sewell Construction was appointed to deliver a brand-new building that would create a modern and engaging space for pupils to thrive. The new build has increased capacity by 210 and introduced Hull’s first purpose-built base for children with autistic spectrum conditions.

From the start we set out to lead with a clear vision – to achieve a world-class product. Our mission was to achieve excellence in everything we did, and this message was communicated to everyone involved.

From the outset, we adopted an ethos of fairness, inclusion, and respect, with a focus on behavioural safely and one of positive reinforcement. This was intrinsically linked to the theme of autism awareness, incorporating education pieces about diversity and inclusion into site inductions and 795 tool-box talks.

The “blended learning” approach that the new school was built upon, was not just an end-product. It was the full journey from the spade in the ground, to the official opening and everything in between. It was our prerogative to empower people and instil the true impact the end-product was going to have on everyone involved, every step of the way.

The Journey

We came up with exciting and innovative ways to engage the whole school in the journey, also partnering with Goodwin Development Trust to share the experience and to demonstrate the impact the project would go on to have on the wider community.

Luke Garner and the Goodwin Development Trust

  • 40hrs spent with Luke who designed posters for the site cabins, caricatures of the site team and worked with pupils on artwork to unveil at the official opening
  • Luke has become an ambassador for Autism Awareness in his own right

Autism Awareness Week

  • The steelworks commenced during Autism Awareness Week and so we invited Luke Garner, Broadacre students, Esteem and Hull City Council partners along to mark the programme milestone
  • A steel bar was craned into the playground so that Luke and the students could sign it, leaving their mark on their new school
  • They were then invited back to see it in-situ within what would become the main school hall

Topping Out celebration

  • Hull City footballer Lewie Coyle was joined by Broadacre staff and a selection of students at the top of the building, along with the Portfolio Holder for Children’s Services at the time. Key partners on the project were also in attendance, watching as the students raised the Broadacre Primary School flag to celebrate the last piece of structure being laid to the highest point on the building
  • The rest of the school had made their own flags and congregated into their existing playground to watch the ceremony from below and enjoy the music!

MUGA Sports Party

  • The whole school got involved in sports tournaments on the newly completed MUGA during the height of summer

GATEway Summer Internship Programme

  • 4-week paid placement for local NEETs in partnership with Cat Zero and as part of the wider Sewell Group’s pledge to triple its investment in graduates, apprenticeships, traineeships and work experience placements over the next five years

Site tours

  • The staff had regular visits to site to familiarise themselves with the space
  • Stakeholders also had regular progress visits
  • We held pre-completion tours for stakeholders, Humber Education Trust, Hull City Council and Goodwin Development Trust to mark the countdown to completion

Official Opening

  • Staff and students moved into their new school at the beginning of March, where they were welcomed with banners, balloons, and cupcakes
  • After a few months of settling in and the students finding their way around, we organised “The Big One” – the official opening celebration with the entire school and key stakeholders on the project
  • We created a film showcasing the journey of Broadacre which was shared in an assembly, students wrote a speech on what their new school means to them, and Luke Garner unveiled a piece of artwork he created in collaboration with Broadacre Primary School students, proudly placing it on the wall of the entrance corridor for all to admire
  • Students then went on to give partners from Esteem, Hull City Council, Sewell Construction, Humber Education Trust and Goodwin Development Trust a tour of their new school

Other engagement activities

  • 20-mile sponsored walk to raise money for x2 defibrillators
  • Wear it Blue, Andy’s Man Club and Man’s MOT activity to promote mental health and wellbeing amongst the site teams
  • 6-week Quantity Surveyor work experience leading to a full-time Trainee role
  • Christmas Hampers gifted to local residents
  • Harry started off as an Assistant Site Manager on the project and is now leading the demolition phase of the project
  • Women in Construction Week – raising awareness of the different kind of roles within construction, that are suitable for everyone not just within a male dominated industry
  • Litter picks around the local area
  • Considerate Constructors training hours

The Legacy

We have created a product that had the buy-in from every single person who stepped foot onto site. From the site team and the supply chain, to partners, charities, and most importantly the school, its Trust, and its Governors. We were all on the journey together and the outcome – both from a construction and social value perspective – exceeds all expectations.

The long-term partnership, and friendship, with the Goodwin Development Trust and Luke Garner demonstrates the positive impact and meaningful experience that can be achieved on a project of such importance to the wider community.

The team have successfully delivered an inclusive learning space for all, the first in Hull, which is fully integrated into a mainstream primary school.

This success is testament to strong partnership working that has championed inclusivity and diversity, encouraged blended learning, and has the needs of pupils at its heart.

£3.01 social return on investment meaning for every one £1 spent, £3.01 is invested back into the community


“Everybody at Broadacre feels extremely privileged to have such an amazing school. We’re lucky to have many things such as the MUGA, lockers, our brand-new playground with the paintings on the floor – which can be very helpful to help children learn the time – and the ASC base. In the ASC base there is a boy named Alfred who enjoys guided reading, Sebastian likes drawing, and Brandon likes the ASC base in general. We’re fortunate to have the space for three classes per yea group, which will allow our school family to grow. Once again we would like to thank you for taking the time out of your day to explore Broadacre and its wonders”

Alfred & George, Broadacre Primary School students

There has been a real feel of togetherness and inclusion facilitated by Hull City Council, Esteem and Sewell Construction throughout the construction phase of our new school; I’ve said it before, but it really does mean so much for the project team to become such a big part of our school community.

Lisa Staines Executive Head, Broadacre Primary School