Client: Belvue school
Location: London, United Kingdom
Completion date: 2014
The further extension of the Northala Fields project delivered in 2013/14 involved the re design and delivery of the external communal spaces in and adjoining Belvue School, a school dedicated to the education of young people with global learning difficulties and associated complex needs including ASD, mental health, Down syndrome, ADHD and communication and sensory difficulties. This ambitious and unique project has at it is heart the aspiration of creating an exemplar environment of aspirational external spaces for disabled children and those with special educational needs as an essential part of its extended community and educational focus.
As a dedicated ‘Inclusively designed’ outdoor space we believe it can enable and empower young people with special education needs and disabilities to participate fully in the life of the school and community in all the stage of learning, through creativity, play, sports and social interaction.
The research by the artist has established that the understanding of social and educational needs of young people with global learning difficulties is yet to be expressed successfully in the design of external spaces , making this project a valuable and pioneering undertaking further extending the impact of the Northala Fields project.
As a part of this project the overgrown Northala woodland adjoining the school is being transferred into a “Magical forest “ - an unique landscape in support of imagination, creativity, social interaction and education.
Originally under the auspices of the Highway Agency as green infrastructural planting next to the A40 it was legally transferred for this use. As a safe and protected environment with a newly built fence this until recently neglected woodland will be transferred into a memorable and emotionally evocative space to be discovered and used for differing activities from den building to music/sound making.
The main aim of this exciting and challenging undertaking was the creation of an exemplary outdoor environment in support of the Five key outcomes for all children and young people, including those
with special educational needs and disabilities:
• Be healthy
• Stay safe
• Enjoy and achieve
• Make a positive contribution
• Achieve economic well-being
the design of the project involved a close collaboration of the artist and the school teachers, pupils and parents.