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St. Joseph's Special School

St. Joseph's Special School


May 2020, Dec 2020

Project Type:

Special School





About the Project:

St Joseph’s is a specialised school under the patronage of  Ability West. The school provides educational programmes for pupils aged 4 to 18 years with moderate general learning disabilities and for pupils with autism within this range.

Back in December 2019, Principal Sarah McGinley first contacted SmallWall looking to install some traverse climbing boards for the students of the school. From that initial chat with sarah, it was clear to see the enthusiasm, commitment and passion she had for her role as a new principal of the school. Her vision for creating a playground to cater specifically for the childrens individual needs to add value and meaning to their playtime has led to a fantastic creation within the school grounds.

SmallWall have been so delighed to be part of St Josephs Special School playground construction. One of the product ideas that arose from talking to Sarah was the cosy cocoons. In May 2020, we had great excitement when we featured on RTE News following our installation of the traverse walls, cosy cocoons and outdoor furniture.  Overnight our products were known to many schools and special schools across the country.

For St Josephs Special School, the products installed in a few different phases are the traverse climbing boards, cosy cocoons, outdoor table and stools to cater for outdoor learning, the bridge, the tripod, A frame and finally in December 2020 we installed our newest product the messy play table to cater for a multitude of learning opportunities and some senior cosy cocoons.

Well done to Sarah, the staff, parents and community of St Josephs for all the hard work with fundraising for the new playground!

Photos from the Installation:

(Click to Enlarge)
A word from...
Sarah McGinley
(School Principal)

I happened upon the SmallWall website and was immediately interested. I have been researching playground equipment for over a year and have been engaging in fundraising. I have visited many playgrounds around the world and I always look for ideas for things that could be adapted for the pupils at my school. I am the Principal of the biggest special school in the west of Ireland, we have a large cohort of pupils with a variety of additional needs. Many of our pupils also have an ASD diagnosis.

From the first contact with Sean and his team I knew we were onto a winner. His enthusiasm for the product and for the pupils getting the most out of it is fantastic.

Installation was so professional, they worked so fast and were very diligent and neat, leaving the place spotless. They surveyed the area and took into account various safety issues and made sure to place the climbing wall in a sensible area so as not to interfere with the accessibility of the yard while in use.

Sean kept in touch with us for any tweaks we might like to make and visited the school to check all was going well. I have recommended SmallWall to every school principal I know and have heard nothing but positive feedback from the staff and the pupils at school.

I’m looking forward to seeing the progression pupils make with regards to their strength, concentration and determination to traverse the wall.

Thank you SmallWall!


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