The children of Woodley School and College in Huddersfield are enjoying an innovative new play experience as Sutcliffe Play, one of the UK’s leading designers and manufacturers of children’s playground equipment, unveils a new £150,000 sensory and physical development play area. The playground was officially opened by the Mayor of Kirklees, Cllr Christine Iredale.
The school, which is now designated for children and young people with autism, worked with Wakefield based Sutcliffe Play to design a space that specifically meets the needs of its users. They created a bespoke Sensory and Physical Development Area featuring zoned spaces with no physical boundary lines.
Anne Lawton, headteacher at Woodley School and College, said: “The children have improved their physical activity, become better at social interactions and communication with each other. The outdoor learning spaces are encouraging our children to engage, to learn and so to be happier.
“Woodley School and College is a local authority special school for 110 children aged 5-19 who all have autism. The introduction of the new Sensory and Physical Development Area will play a major role in supporting children with autism to extend their learning in a fun environment.
“On behalf of Woodley School and College we would like to say a special thank you to Kirklees Council, the Huddersfield Rotary Club and the Free Masons of Yorkshire and West Riding who have donated funds to complete this project. We look forward to many years of enjoyment and development for the children with our new play facility.”
The zones for the new play area are as follows:
Offering a technological element to play, the music zone features a Bluetooth music mast. The music player is ‘child-powered’ and allows children to learn about kinetic power whilst playing music to soothe, relax or energise.
This zone encourages dynamic play offering unique play equipment to develop social skills, balance, coordination and physical development.
This section encourages mental stimulation, coordination skills and physical activity through various climbing apparatus and parallel play. The colourful and interactive equipment features structural levels of play that include a binocular rail for spying on wildlife, a slide and a tunnel on the ground level.
This area forms the largest space in the playground. Bringing earthly and natural elements in to play including a sandcastle, splash zone and reading corner.
Offering a safe and relaxing area for the children, the ‘Daydream Den’ is a visually pleasing enclosed area designed to calm the mind.