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Woodley SEN School, Huddersfield

Client: Woodley School and College

Cost: £150,000

Date: 01/07/2017

Genre: Inclusive

Leading the way in Inclusivity

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



Playground Equipment:

Music Zone

This sensory zone focusses around a Bluetooth Music Mast, featuring a child-powered music player allowing pupils to learn about kinetic power whilst playing music from Bluetooth enabled devices.

Active Zone

This zone offers inclusive but dynamic play options including an inclusive dish roundabout, seesaw, a pole spin and stepping pods allowing pupils at the school to develop their social skills, balance, coordination and imagination. A Goal End has also been installed with large panels for target games.

Climbing Zone

This zone is packed with some of Sutcliffe Play’s newest ranges and provides pupils at the school with opportunities for both solitary play and parallel play.  The Daffodil Climber from the Toddlerzone Plus range reflects a natural theme with gentle waving panels.  An ascending trio of platforms has access points at either end.  Large decks make it easy for children to navigate around the unit and the soft rubber surfacing on the decks provides a safe play surface. Equipment from the environmentally friendly Orchard range creates an activity trail with a bespoke Teepee unit acting as both a climbing opportunity and social setting to create dens and meeting places.

Quiet Zone

Forming a large part of the playground, this zone includes a Story Corner with seating and artificial grass flooring plus a wide range of Water and Sand play options allowing children to engage in natural play.

Daydream Den

The Daydream Den is a safe visual barrier adding height to the area. It provides a safe place to relax with captivating visual features to help calm children.

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