About Castledon SEN School
Castledon SEN School works on attributes necessary to help students lead as independent and fulfilled a life as possible. In addition, they support each pupil by providing an extensive range of programs and therapies both on and off-site. The school take pride in their dedicated team that help meet the differing needs of every young person. The staff offer provision to pupils from year 1 to year 11 within the school site. The pupils who attend have a wide range of complex needs, these include autism and communication difficulties. Prior to the summer holidays, the school decided to renovate their playground, offering their pupils something new and unique that will cater to the differing needs in the school, and provide therapy through play during break time. This project included the Yalp Sona Interactive dance and play arch and dynamic inclusive play equipment.
Castledon school chose to renovate its playground in two phases. As a result, the staff was able to see what products worked best and tailor the second phase to complement this. The staff was looking for equipment that would cater to all pupils and their complex needs, allowing the students to access the equipment with ease. In addition, the equipment still needed to provide elements of challenge and risk that the children could enjoy on a daily basis.
Inclusive Play & the Interactive Sona Arch
Jupiter Play worked with its leading suppliers; to create a design that provided the school with fun and unique play opportunities.
They decided to incorporate the Yalp Sona Interactive dance and play arch as the focal piece of the playground. The Sona is an inclusive and accessible piece of equipment that anyone can enjoy at any age. Combining advanced digital technology with traditional playground fun can provide children with a new, exciting way to play. The Sona Arch was developed to use a motion detector camera at the top of the arch to monitor the play below. Allowing children to react to math sums, have dance-offs, and learn a different language through play. As Yalp continues to develop new games, the school can change the games and provide the children with new challenges!
Adapting the Interactive Sona Arch Games
The majority of the games on the Sona are developed to be progressive. As a result, individuals playing have to reach a certain score before passing to the next level. This strategy encourages children to motivate one another and beat their previous scores. After the first week, it became clear the children struggled to reach past the beginning levels.
Some students struggle with information processing disorders which made locating correct answers in the allotted time very difficult. After feeding this back to the game programmers, we were able to reduce the speed of levels down a substantial amount. As a result, this provided children with more time to find the answers and progress further. After the amendments, children were getting more enjoyment out of the Sona, as they could play for longer. Reaching higher levels has also helped with their confidence levels, as it was something they couldn’t do before.
Result of Phase 1
The Castledon school is over the moon with the first phase of their play area. The children enjoy going outside during break and playing on their new equipment together. The staff can monitor the Sona through statistics online. The only time the use statistics have fallen below the average is during the weekend when the pupils are home. Since the success of the project, the school is already starting to work on the second phase. Keep a lookout to see what new products will be installed into the school soon.