Client: Rigby Hall School
Location: Bromsgrove, Worcestershire
Rigby Hall School is an all age special school taking pupils between the ages of four and nineteen, with moderate or severe learning difficulties.
In recent years, pupils at the school only had a large tarmac yard area to play on during breaks. With football being the game of choice, high fences were required to prevent the ball being lost. The line markings were faded and the entire area looked old, dull and a bit sad. There was nothing for the pupils to play on or with, apart from ball games…and as fun as they are they can get a bit tedious every break, every day year on year!
The time for change had come! They arranged to meet their local Playdale Area Manager for a free, no-obligation design and consultancy meeting. The school was impressed from the outset with the discussions and subsequent design proposals presented back. Headteacher Tracey Smith said they were “Beyond our expectations.”
Both the school’s specific brief and exact budget were met. It was vital that the outdoor equipment would cater for the whole school where pupil ages range from 4-19, and this needed to be without compromise. We succeeded in doing this whilst meeting all their wishes and ideas.
Installation work began during the long summer break and our teams communicated regularly with Tracey to keep her up to speed with the project progress and reassure her that all work would be completed to meet the deadline of the children’s return to school.
On their return to school after the summer holidays, the pupils and staff were over the moon at the outdoor space transformation. All children are making full use of the playground with the youngest 4-year-olds playing, interacting and socialising with the 16+ pupils which Tracey says gives some of them a real sense of purpose at break times having the responsibility of playing with or helping the younger ones.
It’s always a good idea to involve pupils in the choosing of the playground equipment in a school project as it provides added excitement and a sense of ownership of the equipment. Apparently, the definite favourite item so far is our best-selling inclusive roundabout – The Inclusive Orbit.
The children apparently organise each other as to who sits, crouches, stands to protect and who will push! Great teamwork guys!
Rigby Hall School’s pupils now have a vibrant, colourful and stimulating playground which has significantly boosted their levels of interaction and socialisation.
Headteacher Tracey Smith told us “The children are excited to be out at break times and they are learning to manage their own risks in terms of how high they will climb and at what level. Not only is the equipment used at break times, but as an integral part of PE sessions too particularly the Adventure Trail and Gym Buddies. The playground stands proudly at the front of our school. We couldn’t be happier with the facility that we now offer our pupils. It’s above and beyond our expectations.”
Read more about Playdale’s Inclusive Design.
If you are considering improving your school’s outdoor areas contact us to arrange a free, no-obligation appointment with your local area manager.
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