Inclusive By Design
The renovation of the school playground been a long-standing aspiration held by the staff and pupils. They had always wanted a dynamic and engaging play space that would reflect the vibrancy of the school community and cater for the wide range of needs and ages within their student population.
Pupils began working to design the play space and generate funds in September 2019. They visited local parks, adventure playgrounds and outdoor gyms to gain inspiration for their project and created a short film to illustrate their ideas. The multi-academy trust, Midsomer Norton Schools Partnership, match funded part of the project and the film was entered into the KOMPAN national matchfunding competition, in which it was successful.
As well as incorporating the equipment that the pupils wanted, considerate, inclusive design choices were also made in conjunction with the expertise of therapists that the school works closely with, in order to support the particular needs of the young people that attend Critchill School. The installation has now changed the outside playground space completely. The imposing twin Mega Towers act as an inticing centrepiece while other dynamic play equipment cleverly placed invite the pupils to play.
Staff have already observed greater interactions between students, for example spinning each other and collaborating to manipulate how pieces of equipment such as the swing move. Such is the change in the space and the opportunities that it offers the pupils, that the younger pupils no longer call it ‘the playground’ but instead have named it ‘the park’.
Location: Critchill School, Somerset
Date of Installation: June 2020
Age Group: 4-19
Product Range: Twin Mega Towers with additional tube slide, Bird’s Nest Swing, Tipi Carousel, CocoWave Rope Swing, Twin Ring Sky Carousel, Fitness Combi 3 Fitness Unit, Trampoline.
Surfacing: Coloured Wetpour
Project Value: £120,000
“Working with KOMPAN has been such a positive experience. The pupil’s ideas have really translated into the finished product, and we are so proud to now have an amazing, aspirational playground which mirrors the ethos of our school perfectly.”
Head Teacher, Critchill School, Somerset
Froome, Somerset BA11 4LB, England