The school has recently become a facility that caters purely for autistic children and wanted Sutcliffe Play to design not just an inclusive space but a space that specifically meets the needs of the school and its users.
During the consultation process teachers and pupils visited Sutcliffe Play to get a behind the scenes look at how the company works. By inviting the School Council to visit, it allowed designers to see how they played on the various items of equipment and importantly it highlighted what would be suitable. It also gave the children the opportunity to see how play equipment is made and how much development goes in to manufacturing it. Pupils even had the opportunity to offer the builders a helping hand when work started!
Sutcliffe Play has created a unique, bespoke Sensory and Physical Development Area with zoned spaces of activities and routes of access with no physical boundary lines encouraging children to use different items at different times.
The zones are designed to focus on five kinds of play – Physical & Locomotor, Role play and Imaginative, Creative, Object and Social. Within social we focus on Sensory, Parallel and Solitary Play when designing for SEN settings.
“You can’t underestimate the importance of play to a child’s physical and emotional development and well-being. Woodley School is a local authority special school for 125 children aged 4-19 who all have complex needs. The introduction of the new Sensory and Physical Development Area is playing a major role in supporting children with autism to extend their learning in a fun environment.”
Anne Lawton at Woodley School and College