Priory School is a Local Authority Maintained Community School for young people aged 11 – 19 with moderate to severe learning difficulties, many of their students also have a diagnosis of Autism. Following their recent Ofsted short inspection, Priory School continues to be recognised as a ‘Good’ school in all aspects of their provision.
At Priory School, they passionately believe that all young people with special educational needs and disabilities are entitled to access outstanding learning within their local community and they are committed to setting standards of excellence in special education that achieve the highest aspirational outcomes for all of their students.
Their new, purpose built school building is located in Hermitage Road, Upper Norwood and includes a dedicated Food Technology Preparation Kitchen, an ICT suite, Immersive Room, Gym, Lego Therapy Room, Therapy Centre, Outdoor Learning area and a Forest School which provides students with opportunities to flourish and learn new skills in a variety of learning environments outside of the classroom. The school further benefits from a purpose built Theatre Studio enabling their students to fully explore their dance, drama and creative talents in a realistic working performance space.
Their Post 16 provision provides students with their own Common Room and a fully equipped ‘Life Skills Flat’ that enables them to practice and develop both their social and independent living skills in preparation for adult life. They have also developed a wide range of work experience opportunities for Key Stage 5 learners that include hospitality, retail, farm work, hairdressing, etc. within the local community.
Priory School has been open for four years and in that time, this modern, purpose-built building has had no branding except for a logo outside on the school wall. The school lacked an identity and a place to be proud of for the students and the staff. The facilities within the school are fantastic but the warmth of the environment, although functional, had a cold, unfriendly and stark appearance.
All schools are important learning environments and they need to stimulate the children and give them a sense of belonging, particularly within the special needs criteria. Pylon Design were asked to develop a brand that gave them a presence but was also sympathetic to the needs of the students. With the introduction of the new Class names, Pylon Design were asked to provide concepts and a signage system that would work initially on 16 classroom doors and eventually throughout the building on over 200 doors. As the brand is only just in its infancy, developing a system that would be immediately recognisable and flexible enough to be carried through a full range of signage needed to be carefully planned.
Recognition for the students in terms of colour, name and illustration were of prime importance and Pylon Design utilised the corporate colour palette to great effect. The British Animals illustrations and the Teal colour were assigned to the ground floor, the British Tree illustrations and the Pink colour were assigned to the first floor and the British Insect illustrations and the orange colour were assigned to the second floor. The holding corporate grey and the corporate typefaces were used to enhance the brand which created a bold contrast to the corporate bright colours. Printed onto a 3mm aluminium composite material and screwed in exactly the same position on all the wooden doors, these new class door signs give a consistent yet vibrant solution to the naming challenge.