DEDICATED teachers and pupils are cycling, running and swimming to help pay for a £200,000 state-of-the-art playground.

Castledon School, in Bromfords Drive, Wickford, wants to install equipment, including slides and climbing frames, create a sensory area and build a football pitch.

In order to help fund the project, which is being completed in three phases, three senior staff members at the special school have organised a huge triathlon event.

One is cycling 112 miles, one running 26.2 miles and the other swimming 2.4 miles.

All 235 pupils at the school have done their bit towards their own triathlon, chosing whether to complete lengths in the school swimming pool, jog around the field or get on their bikes.

The school has its own specially- adapted cycles which can be used by disabled youngsters.

Simon Broad, assistant headteacher, said: “All of the children in the school are doing their bit.

“They’re swimming, running or cycling as far as they can. It has been wonderful to watch them.

“Our facilities are old and outdated, and we haven’t really got enough room for all the children to play.

“We thought if we get all the children involved in raising the money, then they are contributing to something which they’re really going to enjoy.

“We can’t wait until they come back after summer and see phase one has been completed.

“They’re going to be able to use all the new play equipment very soon.”

The revamped playground is expected to cost £200,000.

The majority of the work will be funded by grants and sponsors, but the school has to raise £40,000.

Castledon School is now 50 per cent bigger than when it opened more than 40 years ago, and in the past two years, communal areas have been extended and new classrooms built.

All pupils, aged between five and 16, have special educational needs or behavioural problems.

To donate towards the playground, visit