Kingweston Special School Transform Outdoor Space to Enhance Learning and Well-Being

Kingsweston is a special school based in Bristol, UK that caters to children and young people with diverse and individual abilities and needs, including Asperger’s and Autism, Severe Learning Difficulties, and complex needs.

The school encourages pupils to be active learners – finding their way to effectively communicate their needs, wants, and opinions. Recognizing that the best place for learning may not always be in a conventional classroom environment, Head Teacher Jo Hill and Estates & Facilities Manager Clive Farmer, set about creating an outdoor environment that is intrinsically engaging and motivating.

Having seen Percussion Play instruments featured in a flower meadow online, Clive set about adapting the idea and creating a similar sensory and performance space in the school playing fields, which were becoming used less and less due to access issues and the special needs of the pupils. Clive designed a wildlife area, outdoor stage with amphitheater, and a music park. After a quick Google search Clive found Percussion Play and began selecting the instruments they felt would best work for the pupils. The music circle comprises Small Babel Drum, Bell Lyre, Papilio, Trio of Djembes, large Babel Drum, Tutti , Emperor Chimes and Pentatonic Tembos.

To encourage social interaction and communication, Clive was keen to include a set of Talk Tubes in the new area and asked Percussion Play if we could create a pair for the school. Never one to back away from a challenge, our Design and Product Development Team responded and we were able to supply the school with a pair of stainless steel Talk Tubes.

The new outdoor space is designed to allow multiple groups to use at any time of the day to enhance their learning and well-being. By spending more time outdoors in this fantastic space, pupils will have greater opportunities to practice social skills, improve their communication and motor skills, and of course hone in on their musical abilities!

Clive tells us “Of the headteachers who have visited the school so far, to say that they are envious of our outdoor facilities would be an understatement. We have happily passed on Percussion Play’s details.”

Music can often be the key that unlocks the door to learning for children who think outside of the box. Regardless of the special need, music can transform lives for the better.