Hastings, East Sussex

Learning through play

Torfield Special School caters for children who have a range of Special Educational Needs particularly autism and associated communication and language difficulties.   As part of an ongoing scheme to develop healthy lifestyles, Torfield School commissioned four new inclusive play areas, two in the Early Years School and one in each of the Lower and Upper Schools.

All of the new play areas provide opportunities for physical development and social interaction, with many pieces of equipment including challenges designed to develop problem solving skills.

The Early Years playgrounds are split into two sections:

  • The first focuses on the Playzone unit that provides a range of exciting options for children of all abilities. The two access points (drag ramp and inclusive net) offer a mix of challenges and experiences that will keep children entertained and engaged whilst the inclusive slide allows children to understand the forces of gravity, teaching them not to fear losing control. The addition of the play mound and tunnel gives an extra dimension to the 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.
  • The second area is home to an innovative Water Play System. Water’s tactile qualities are irresistible to children, holding their attention longer than many other forms of play.

At Torfield’s sister site, the playground in the Upper School features six pieces of challenging play equipment centred around a large bespoke Playzone Climber for All unit.  There are six different ways to climb onto the unit, with higher agility accesses for the able bodied, a high vertical net, a climbing wall and a rope climb. Equally challenging to less agile children are the large inclined inclusive net, a drag ramp and high visibility, extra wide steps.

The playground in the Lower School features a range of equipment to encourage physical and social play including a mound tunnel, trampoline & small seesaw.

“We’re passionate about the physical, emotional and educational development of all of our pupils.  The playgrounds are a fantastic addition to the school and help us in our aim to develop healthier lifestyles for all of our pupils.  Most importantly the children’s reaction to the playgrounds has been fantastic, it’s been a pleasure to watch them play, engage and have fun.”

Marion Booth, Torfield and Saxon Mount Academy Trust

Play Equipment:

Early Years:

Water Play System

Water is delivered from a mains supply via a simple inclusive sensor, minimising moving parts allowing the youngest child to control the flow. A cone then dispenses water in different directions and a curving roof/windbreak gives shade and shelter for longer periods of creative play. Utilising a robust stainless steel base and natural rubber edging for play table and a combination of other rubber components and galvanised steel parts, this range offers a sustainable solution in the most demanding environment.

Play Mound with 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.

Playzone 2 Up, 2 Down

Two accesses (drag ramp and inclusive net) and two exits (inclusive slide and fireman’s pole), provide a mix of challenges and experiences. The large deck with social seating makes it ideal to rest awhile. The double width inclusive net is large enough for 2 children and doubles up as a hammock.

Small Trampoline

Fantastic fun, these trampolines are perfect for physical play and developing coordination. With their own inbuilt rubber edging, they can be installed anywhere, even in concrete.

Lower School:

Play Mound with 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.

Small Seesaw

A tried and tested seesaw for younger children which allows adults to sit or stand alongside to help them balance.

Small Trampoline

Fantastic fun, these trampolines are perfect for physical play and developing coordination. With their own inbuilt rubber edging, they can be installed anywhere, even in concrete.

Upper School:

Inclusive Climber For All (Special)

There are six different ways to climb onto this Playzone, with higher agility accesses for the able bodied, a 2.4m high vertical net, a climbing wall and a rope climb. Equally challenging to less agile children are the large inclined inclusive net, a drag ramp and high visibility, extra wide steps. In effect – two units in one, with fairly difficult step-ups and a hoop bridge between the two areas so children don’t stray into an area too challenging for them. Transfer decks and side entry/exit slides mean good access for children with mobility problems.

Small Trampoline

Fantastic fun, these trampolines are perfect for physical play and developing coordination. With their own inbuilt rubber edging, they can be installed anywhere, even in concrete.

Curvy Swivel Seat

Small social seating areas, which can be used as a standalone item or grouped around other activities. Two sets of swivelling saddle seats – the perfect meeting places for friends.

Stand up Seesaw

The standing seesaw can be used in various ways, stand on the bottom foot rests or on the handles higher up, sit on the beam and use the handles as a perch. Younger children can also sit in the middle helped by older children either side.

Cherry Twist

A new twist on a popular theme and a contemporary design for modern playgrounds. Low in cost and compact, ideal for small spaces and tight budgets. No safety surfacing required with a high play value for up to 3 children, incorporating a non-slip, rubber covered safety standing surfacing. A maintenance free, long life finish with sealed bearings.

1.5m High Mission Climbing Post

This high platform is for the brave, used to add a new challenge or connect units together.

The Details
ClientTorfield School
Cost£143,000
DateSummer 2015 & 2016
GenreInclusive