Norfolk Park playground a hit with the children

NORFOLK Park School, a designated school for children with Special Educational Needs, in the Eastern sector of Sheffield, South Yorkshire caters for children between the ages of three and eleven years with profound and multiple learning difficulties, severe learning difficulties, complex medical needs and autism.

When the school moved to its current location in 2015, although the premises had been totally restructured and refurbished with the ‘learning’ needs of pupils very much at the forefront and include facilities for hydrotherapy; rebound therapy; soft play; and a sensory room. Additional teaching areas such as the food technology room, library and dedicated quiet group rooms, enable the children to practice and embed the skills they learn in the classroom. However, the new site did lack outdoor play provision for the children due to the restrictive nature of the grounds. In addition, the playground could not support any fixed play equipment due to access required for School Transport.

Norfolk Park playground

The new roundabout is a very popular addition to the playground.

Thanks to a very generous donation of £25,000 from Wooden Spoon Yorkshire, Norfolk Park was able to develop a sloped area at the front of the school site into a fantastic new play provision for the children. This new area incorporates an inclusive roundabout, which can take children in wheelchairs and ambulant children together. There is also a fantastic climbing tower with fireman’s pole, an enclosed tube slide and a scramble net. The new area gives the children many more opportunities for fun and learning outdoors.

Among the guests attending the official opening on 27 September were Wooden Spoon Yorkshire members, Stuart Watson and Mike Coghlan. Stuart commented; “The school does a fantastic job working with children across a wide spectrum of physical and mental disabilities. It was great to see the very obvious enjoyment that the children get from the new playground. My own favourite was the roundabout which allows wheelchair users and others to share the same ride.”

A representative from Norfolk Park added; “Without this very generous donation from Wooden Spoon, it would not have been possible for us to have made these developments. Our children thoroughly enjoy using this new equipment as you will see from the photographs of our Opening Ceremony.”

Norfolk Park playground

Norfolk Park playground opening ceremony.