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