Environments for SEN

Castle Tower

Castle Tower is a purpose-built SEN school catering to pupils aged 3 to 19 with a full range of special needs. When they decided to invest in solid wood furniture and play equipment they found that the flexibility, durability, and calming natural colours of Community Playthings equipment supports their caring, inclusive approach to learning.

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I would definitely recommend this furniture. It has been really, really beneficial within my classroom.

Castle Tower School has 325 pupils, a range of needs from very complex needs to quite moderate and a full Age range as well from three right up to 19 whenever they leave us. All of our young people come to our school with barriers to learning and with disadvantage. And the most important thing for us is that through the environment that we create for them, that that disadvantage is removed as much as possible. The furniture it's nearly all in our lower primary and in our nursery and Foundation stage.

We find the equipment and the furniture a very suitable for children with special educational needs because of its flexibility, the height adjustability of the tables is fantastic.

We have children in the class who are not mobile so they'll be using wheelchairs. So it means that they're able to access the same group activity because we can increase the height of the table and the wheelchair can fit underneath, which means they can still be part of the group.

The fact that you can move it easily around the classroom, you'll see the stuff setting up the classroom in different ways for structured learning, play time, free time.

We change our topics every term and we can change the furniture around to make it be like a shop, or the dentist, or construction area. It's really easy to change. 

and it all fits in to allow the children a flexible learning environment.

We wanted really good furniture that was going to be durable, it was going to be long lasting.

We knew that soon as we saw the product the feel, the quality is whole wood, it's not laminated, it as a lifetime product going to stand the test of time. The children love to play on it. It's safe, it's secure, rounded corners, the doors that there's no chance of a child hurting themselves opening and closing, and that's why we chose Community Playthings.

The environment that you create, particularly for young people with special needs, with the difficulties that they have, is really, really important.

The furniture that I'm working with now within special needs schools, this furniture is beautiful because of the colour of being so neutral. I actually find that a real benefit for our children that doesn't over-stimulate them.

Negative behaviours we would have seen in our old buildings pretty much we don't see those anymore and we think that is purely down to the resources that we have now and the play equipment we have in the building. Something that's personal to me is ethics and I feel that Community Playthings is something that other companies should be striving for. They're child centred and the products are developed for the child. It's not for profit. It's all about children, play.

When we went to see the factory and we saw how the furniture was produced, the fact that it was being hand built was important. We would hear in Castle Tower highly recommend the Community Playthings furniture because we feel it works for our young people. It adds to their daily experience in school.
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