Client: Billing Brook School, Northampton
Brief: To provide 4 separate play zones as well as an outdoor classroom and sensory seating, so that pupils with a wide range of learning difficulties can enjoy a safe, stimulating and creative outdoor environment
Billing Brook School site before the transformation
Working closely with the school to create separate life-enhancing outdoor zones to help maximise the provision of physical and mental stimuli for the benefit of both students and teachers, Wicksteed learned exactly what was required and the resultant designs presented ticked all the boxes.
Four separate areas were requested within the given space and each zone features different aspects of play, exercise or more leisurely opportunities. Part of the safety surfacing follows a road circuit theme whilst eye-catching snakes and ladders and maze graphics decorate each end of the whole site. In order to ensure provision was made for wheelchair users, the inclusive Revolva roundabout, installed flush with the ground, was the ideal solution. For sound stimulation, creative inspiration and as an aid to develop co-ordination, musical instruments were also included in the scheme. A timber Pavilion with log-lined fencing behind it provides the perfect outdoor classroom which can equally become simply a place where students can sit and meet up for socialising or quiet relaxation. A Multi-Use Games Area offers fantastic play value and allows a range of ballgames to be played, whilst individual QR coded outdoor gym units from Wicksteed’s Fitness Legacy Zone ensure that keeping fit is also covered.
Mark Fisher, Site Facilities Manager, said: “The brief to produce four separate play zones as well as an outdoor classroom and sensory seating area was very well interpreted by Wicksteed. The pupils ultimately voted on which design they preferred and Wicksteed was chosen. From a site management perspective we required the installation work to be carried out during a specific time period and this was suitably accommodated, with little disruption to the normal running of the school. Our pupils’ reaction has been fantastic for all different reasons; whether it’s the vivid colours, sitting on boulders, using the group play equipment, making wonderful sounds from the musical instruments or just running around safely… As a school we are delighted with the outcome as it met all our expectations but more importantly, the pupils love it!”
Musical instruments to stimulate the senses and inspire sound creation
Outdoor classroom in the shape of a Timber Pavilion in specially landscaped zone