outstanding outdoor spaces

Beever Primary School, Lancashire

Beever Primary School is reaping the benefits of its new playground equipment designed and installed by Playforce. Headteacher Greg Oates tells us how the outdoor space has improved the children’s school day.

Why did you want to develop your playground?

At Beever Primary School we are always looking for new and exciting ways to play and learn. We understand the importance of children spending more time outdoors and developing a playground that would encourage learning in the fresh air was a great way to incorporate it into the school day.

What were the key elements that made Playforce stand out from other providers?

The team at Playforce were very detailed about the planning and designing process of our build. They encouraged the kids to share their ideas and their extensive experience was evident in their professional and enthusiastic approach.
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Spending more time outdoors has certainly improved the children’s behaviour. They are much more energetic and inspired and have learnt a lot about working together.

How are you using the space to deliver outdoor learning & educational play?

We are careful to make sure that the new equipment is used for both learning and play. During lessons the Storyteller Chair is used by the teachers to give information but at playtimes it is transformed by the children. Whether they’re telling ghost stories or reading out poems, they love taking it in turns to play the leading role.

What are the biggest benefits you have seen for the children?

Spending more time outdoors has certainly improved the children’s behaviour. They are much more energetic and inspired and have learnt a lot about working together. There is no squabbling over who gets to be in charge, they have developed a sense of ownership and organisation.

Can you share any best practice insights you’ve gained?

It’s important to think about how the equipment can be incorporated into lessons and playtimes. Having a multi-purpose playground is fantastic but it also essential to make sure that learning and play activities are kept quite separate. This is easy to resolve with imaginative lesson plans that are very different to the way the children play.
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