Background & Objectives:
Colnbrook School is a special school, and needed a sensory play area for their pupils with a variety of needs, so they approached Groundwork to design and contract manage the project.
Initially, Groundwork was able to offer design advice through the Laing Services to Schools programme. Thanks to the Laing Charitable Trust, each year Groundwork can give a select number of schools support to design (or redesign) their outdoor areas to make them more usable as places for learning and play.
Following the initial design, the school themselves secured grants and funding to implement the works.
They also wanted to improve their growing area, to give the pupils the opportunity to improve their health and wellbeing, as well as learning life skills – including taking responsibility for a the growing and nurturing of living things. So Colnbrook commissioned Groundwork’s employment team to run a Green Team – an employment and skills course for those not in education, work or training – with the practical element of their course being building the growing area, with a selection of raised beds in a secured fenced area.
Groundwork’s landscape architects designed an area with plenty of variety. The space gives pupils a place to explore, play, and learn, through making different sounds, feeling different textures, and seeing lots of bright colours. The improvements include a shelter, water play area, plus a sensory area with mirrors, colours and textures.