St. Clements is a SEN school located in the market town of Dingwall, 15 miles north of Inverness in the Scottish Highlands. Our pupils are aged 3-19. We are housed in a Victorian buliding in the town centre, with limited playground area. The pupils have developed a small community garden adjacent to the school and maintain and plant raised beds as part of our Eco schools involvement. We have a strong interest in all aspects of the Eco programme and have successful links with a local croft and farm and have received our second green flag.
We hope to develop a sensory area in the playground, which will be of most advantage to our young people who benefit from a very sensory curriculum. This area will have wheelchair access, plants appealing to the senses and tactle surfaces and activities which will stimulate the children.We also hope to encourage and monitor wildlife, such as butterflies and birds.
The ground earmarked for this project is a long,narrow strip, wedged between a demountable hut and the school perimeter fence.This fence borders a large unsightly area of wasteground, this has concrete footings from previous buildings, wild undergrowth, dumped rubbish and amassed litter. One side of the area we wish to develop has a border with the community garden, and we hope to create a link between both environments. The other side accesses the playground.
We have enlisted the help of two advisors with a knowledge of planning and developing such a project.
Our first stage of the project is to acquire a plan of the area and the current playground, and ascertain who owns the perimeter fence. We will then have an assembly to introduce the idea to the school, followed by workshop where the pupils can suggest ideas for the sensory garden by sticking a post-it on the plan. The Pupil council and Eco group will be involved in the decision making for the garden and the pupils will be involved in the building process.