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Bluebell Park SEN, Merseyside

Client: Bluebell Park School

Cost: £100,000

Date: 01/11/2013

Genre: Inclusive

Exciting, Accessible, Inclusive Play Area

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.

Wheelchair Swing

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.

Bluebell Park wheelchair roundabout“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.”


Playground Equipment:

Inclusive Playzone Unit – The Journey: This is a large unit that can be approached from either end by ramps or the more challenging hoop climb or incline net. Designed for children of all abilities, this unit encourages children to travel to either end to play games or slide back down to the ground. The slightly raised top of the inclusive slide allows for easy side transfer from wheelchairs. To cater for the specific needs of some of the children the scramble net incorporates a smooth membrane to allow easier access for some of the pupils.

Mound Tunnel: Tunnels give an extra dimension to a natural play space. The darkness as you enter and the light at the end as you emerge into another world is irresistible to children of all ages.

Wheelchair Roundabout: This roundabout is accessible for children in wheelchairs and enables the riders to experience exciting new kinds of motion.

Cherry Twist: This rotator is a new twist on a popular theme and has a contemporary design for modern playgrounds. The Cherry Twist has a high play value for up to 3 children, incorporating a non slip, rubber covered safety standing surfacing. It has a maintenance free, long life finish with sealed bearings.

Trampoline: Fantastic fun, trampolines are perfect for physical play and developing coordination. With their own inbuilt rubber edging, they can be installed anywhere, even in concrete, and no other safety surfacing is required.

Ability Swing: This swing enables a child to enjoy the experience of a swing whilst still in their wheelchair.


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