Chipping Sodbury Specialist Technology School

Situated in the heart of Chipping Sodbury School, the Access Centre was set up by South Gloucestershire Council for students on the autism spectrum, whose needs are such that they are unable to thrive in a mainstream school environment.

Prior to the Access Centre, these students would have been offered places at specialist schools out of their catchment area.

All buildings at Chipping Sodbury School are fully accessible, with wide doors, ramps to all ground floor areas and lifts. The recently opened sports hall has hearing loops and acoustic insulation and accessible toilets and showers are available throughout the school.

The Centre, which opened in April 2014, had a sensory garden; The problem with the garden was that the existing pathway was created with tightly compacted stone base which when wet was causing dirt to be dragged into the school, and when dry dust was being spread around the site.

To meet the needs of the children Zoe Lindgren of Quattro Design Architects carefully designed a sensory garden with specific areas of interesting planting, exercise, learning, social places and quiet spots.

The landscape contractor Pyramid Construction, specified SureSet for a pathway linking all these different areas together.

30m² of the old dry dust surface was removed and replaced with type 3 aggregate which was compacted down to leave a 30mm depth for the final surface.  Our Installation Team laid a 6mm Barley Beach at a 30mm depth.

The completed sensory garden plays a huge part in enabling the children to learn, and providing a safe place in which they can socialise, explore, exercise using the outdoor gym equipment and rest when their anxiety is high.

Benefits of the gardens new SureSet permeable resin bound path are:   

  • It allows children to use the garden all year round – its permeable quality makes the path safe to use immediately after rain or frost
  • It is seamlessly accessible – in keeping with the excellent accessibility of the whole school
  • It helps keep the school clean and tidy – the smooth finish means there is no debris or dust to be walked back into the Centre.

Please thank the team for us. They did a fantastic job and the new pathway is great.”

Annette Box, Manager of the Access Centre

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