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Manor Green School unveils plans for new sensory playground

Plans for a sensory playground that will transform outdoor learning for pupils at Manor Green School have been unveiled.

The school, in Elizabeth Hawkes Way, Woodlands Park, has more than 280 pupils with special educational needs and wants to create a safe environment for them to learn through play.

It has already secured £47,000 through its charitable fund, Friends of Manor Green and is now hoping that donations and grants will enable it to reach its £87,000 target.

Manor Green School's play area has not been updated since the school was built (above)

The project has been split into two phases. The first is for ‘early years’ children, aged five to seven, and includes a sand pit, mud kitchen and water play. The second, aimed at pupils up to 19, will involve a ‘stimulating’ wheelchair-friendly journey that incorporates nature, music and story-telling zones, a sensory pathway and play hills.

Phase one is due to start at the beginning of March. If funds are available, both phases should be completed by mid-April.

Headteacher Joolz Scarlett said: “Our current playground hasn’t been updated since the school was built and doesn’t provide an environment for our students to learn through play.

“The student council has been asking for additional playground equipment for many years now and we are fundraising to make the children’s wish come true. We would really like to install a natural, sustainable play area that all our students can access and enjoy, irrespective of their physical and sensory needs.”

The proposed story-telling area

Volunteer fundraiser at the school, Katherine Evans, who also has a daughter there, said: "I feel incredibly passionate about helping the school as they have been a real support to my daughter and us as parents.

“She has regular access to the therapies she needs and she has developed so much since she started there. The teachers and staff are excellent and really understand what Elsie needs and they give her so much love and support that I cannot think of a better school setting for her.”

Email fundraising@manorgreenschool.co.uk to donate.

A 'bug hotel' to improve children's learning of nature

Katherine is helping to fundraise for the project by taking part in in the ‘Palace to Palace’ cycle ride on Sunday.

The route takes riders from Buckingham Palace to Windsor Castle.

Visit www.gofundme.com/f/jn56k-playground-equipment to donate.

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