The Willows

Wolverhampton, UK

The project has created a single conjoined facility which brings together a special school, a primary school, and community facilities. Before 2011 the schools shared the large site located in Bilston in a former coal mining area. The decision to combine the new schools on the same site has many mutual educational and facility benefits whilst maintaining each schools distinct identity.


The schools are situated in an area of high deprivation which suffers from high levels of theft and vandalism. Through close consultation with the school and local community, we have transformed a flat featureless site into a dynamic environment for learning and community engagement.


The need for quality outdoor teaching facilities is a priority for the school. We designed an inclusive design ‘woodland walk’ that creates the pedestrian circulation around the school. It connects the external facilities, such as outdoor classrooms, play courts, pitches, community MUGA, play equipment, habitat areas, sensory and horticultural garden and pond.



  • Woodland school concept
  • Integration of existing ‘Millennium Wood’ with inclusive design path
  • Consultation and design for special needs, sensory inclusion, colours, materials and outdoor learning
  • Waymaking and wayfinding
  • Horticultural Garden for special needs 16-18’s
  • ‘Green’ travel study of pick-up and drop-off for special needs pupils


BREEAM Rated ‘Very Good’


Client: Wolverhampton City Council

Architect: Architype

Coe Design