The Gretton Play Structure

Playground, Cambridge

The Brief

Gretton School is a special education school, that support students with a diagnosis of autism, dyspraxia, dyslexia and Asperger’s syndrome. Gretton have a fantastic forest school and incredible, forward-thinking staff. The school purchased ‘Wonder Tower’ from us and immediately started thinking about what we could create for the older students.

The Design

We went on a design journey with Gretton, creating a suitable structure design and equally importantly, a plan of how can we incorporate student participation within this build. The finished structure is a representation of what can be achieved by students, teachers and ourselves… a true collaboration.

The students came to the sweet chestnut coppice and debarked some of the trees, dug holes on site for the posts to be concreted in to and within their design technology classes, designed the coloured Perspex windows (see if you can spot Yoda!).

The Result

This wooden play structure provides physical challenges, adventure and a safe place for students to sit on their own, inside the structure. We wanted this structure to have a number of different ways to approach it in terms of play, with destinations. Once on the raised decks, they are in their own space, while having a sense of achievement in getting there. The swing seat is just really fun and exhilarating (we can speak from experience through the quality control testing process!!).

We can’t begin to tell you how moving and rewarding this project was for us to be involved in. We met some great people and have a huge amount of respect for all of the staff at Gretton School.


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