Springfield Community Special School
Sovereign Design Play Systems
Springfield Community Special School is a co-educational primary school for pupils aged 3–11 with special educational needs. Situated in pleasant and extensive grounds on the outskirts of Leek, Staffordshire, the school has recently undergone a major development of its outdoor facilities.
Although the school has access to a large outdoor area and learning resources, it lacked permanent outdoor facilities. Staff set out play equipment each morning and cleared it away at the end of the day.
Teachers felt it was time to develop an external learning environment to incorporate motivating and enjoyable activities and equipment for all pupils. The area had to be visually enhanced and it was essential that new facilities would promote play in a safe, secure environment, providing the opportunity to take risks safely.
Class Teacher, Lisa Price undertook 12 months of research into the pupils' special requirements. She paid particular attention to companies' abilities to adapt equipment or produce bespoke equipment, and Sovereign was chosen to carry out the project.
The plans evolved through discussions with children, staff and governors. Sovereign worked with Springfield to overcome potential problem areas, redesigning and altering product specifications where necessary, until the final design was approved.
Area one: Activity zone
Area two: Play tower
Area three: Musical play
Area four: Activity zone
Area five: Bespoke activity trail
Area six: Seating spot
Area seven: Discovery area
The children have great enthusiasm for their new learning environment. They have shown through their behaviour that they feel safe and secure and enjoy making their own choices about risk when playing on the equipment.
“This has been a highly successful project. Sovereign has provided us with an excellent service, thus enabling us to provide our children with a wonderful new, exciting and stimulating play environment.” – Ruth Zimmerman, Headteacher