started recently on a new sensory garden for children at Ysgol y Deri in Penarth.
Staff from housing developer Barratt Developments, which includes Barratt Homes and David Wilson Homes, will be transforming the playground in a three-week project. The school supports a wide and diverse range of pupils with specialist needs from ages three to 19.
The design, by Pam Creed, incorporates traditional elements of earth, wind, fire and air, and should be finished when children return from the Easter holidays. Caroline Williams, head of primary at the school, said that having a bespoke outdoor area where pupils can use all of their senses will support their emotional wellbeing, as well as offer a positive and engaging learning environment.
It will be created in an existing but underdeveloped space at the school with around 60 staff and contractors from Barratt Homes and David Wilson Homes involved in the transformation. Managing director Steve Williams, who will be one of the volunteers, said he was delighted the Cardiff-based company was involved in the project.
He said: “Staff here have really embraced the project and to have more than 60 members of our own staff and companies we work with pledge their time to help with the transformation is wonderful. We are also donating £20,000 towards the cost of the sensory garden.”
Work begins this week with initial site clearance and preparing for the installation of features which have distinct areas for air, water, fire and earth. Features will include an amphitheatre, central pergola and tactile areas for the pupils to enjoy, and the inclusive and interactive spaces will promote a relaxing, sensory journey for all learners.
There will be grand opening of the new garden on May 18 to coincide with the school’s annual Family Fun Day and Taff Trail cycling challenge to raise funds for students to enjoy cycling safely.