An inclusive play area designed by Sutcliffe Play is being enjoyed by children at a new purpose built Special Education Needs school in Knowsley.
Bluebell Park is a state-of-the-art school providing primary, secondary and post-16 facilities for 185 students with special educational needs. The new school combines two former schools, Springfield School and The Elms, and provides advanced facilities including hydrotherapy pools and sensory gardens.
Sutcliffe Play was tasked with providing an exciting, accessible playground in which children of all abilities could play together.
The play area created features elements including wheelchair swings and a wide mound tunnel. A focal point is the exciting Playzone unit which is designed for wheelchair access all the way round and features an inclusive slide and an inclined drag ramp. The design also includes a trampoline and a wheelchair roundabout with rainbow flooring to add colour to the environment.
“We wanted to give the youngsters of Bluebell Park an opportunity for play that’s not available to them anywhere else,” says Sue Cowley, Business Manager for Bluebell Park. “This requirement has been met without a doubt.
“One of my favourite pieces of equipment in the play area is the wheelchair roundabout. It epitomises inclusive play, enabling children of all abilities to access the same equipment. Children who in the past had to stand aside and watch their more able-bodied friends on the roundabout can now play right alongside them.
“The reaction from children has been unbelievable. One of the first children to play on the equipment came to me afterwards and said: ‘Sue, that’s just what I wanted’.
“You can see the joy on their faces as they play; it’s a real pleasure to see.”