Case Study: Ysgol-Y-Gogarth – Inclusive Play Areas

Ysgol-Y-Gogarth – Inclusive Play Areas

Ysgol-y-Gogarth is a day and residential Special School in Llandudno, which caters for approximately 180 pupils between the ages of 3 and 19. Pupils attending the school are either fully statemented or in the process of being statemented and have a wide spectrum of additional learning needs.

Ysgol y Gogarth is the first maintained special school in Wales to be granted the Autism Accreditation. They cater for more than 50 pupils with Autism or who have been diagnosed with an Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD).

The school has recently undergone an £18m redevelopment in which Willmott Dixon was awarded the main contract. The new school offers a number of specialist facilities, including a hydrotherapy pool, light room, quiet room, an ICT suite, Sensory & Autism classes, outdoor learning environments, outstanding outdoor pursuits facilities and vocational areas such as horticulture, car valeting & a deli bar.

We were asked to provide inclusive play areas around the school, which would cater for children of all abilities and ages up to 15 yrs. We were also asked to provide trim trail and gym equipment for the older children and adults.

Taking the SEN requirements of the school and its pupils into account; when creating these play spaces we concentrated of a number of basic needs such as balance, coordination, upper body strength etc. To keep costs to a minimum we also based the designs on using standard play items for all users including those requiring inclusive play. We ensured that all items selected were low maintenance with a high play value and that would allow a larger number of users at any one time. In addition to the play spaces we created, we also provided items of street furniture to complete the area.