This project builds upon multidisciplinary cross-faculty and external partnership between Department of Architecture (School of Art, Design & Architecture), Westley Design Ltd, Livewell Southwest, The Institute of Education, The School of Psychology, The Discovery Multi Academy Trust and Edison Centre, and University of Plymouth students.
The aim of the project is to develop plans for a state-of-the-art, outdoor therapeutic/inclusive play structure and space (provisionally called The Edison Play Garden) for children with a range of additional needs, their families, school staff and local therapists to use to facilitate systemic wellbeing, positive mental health, sense of security and engagement with learning.
The proposed site of the garden is within the grounds of Beechwood Primary Academy which also incorporates a nurture provision called The Edison Centre. The centre includes learning spaces, indoor therapy space, a STEM lab, outdoor areas, therapeutic animals and use of the main school building. The Edison Centre employs four members of highly trained and well-experienced staff, who offer a trauma informed and therapeutic approach to learning. All staff are committed to finding creative ways to support learners. The Centre accepts referrals from early years and primary schools across Plymouth and is designed for children with Special Educational Needs (SEN), traumas and/or Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs), and social and emotional needs.