outstanding outdoor spaces

Black Brook Primary School, Somerset

Black Brook Primary School installed their new playground four years ago but the equipment is still in high demand from both children and parents.

Why did you want to develop your playground?

Our playground was installed by Playforce four years ago and, both staff and parents would agree, it is one of the best investments that the Friends of Black Brook Primary School has ever made through their fundraising efforts. The playground was developed as part of Black Brook’s aim to be classified with a Healthy School Status.

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

I had worked with Playforce at my previous school and knew how good and useful the equipment is. Everything from the initial phone calls to the final product is extremely high quality and the teams are helpful and friendly. Playforce has extensive experience working with schools and everyone is encouraged to get involved.
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The series of well-designed and durable Timber Trail obstacles has been extremely important in helping the children to develop their fine and gross motor skills.

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

We are using our space to ensure that the children are being challenged physically, socially and intellectually. This is all an important part of the ongoing Healthy School Status programme. The Somerset Activity and Sports Partnership are likely to use our playground in the outdoor education activities they have planned at the school this summer.

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

The series of well-designed and durable Timber Trail obstacles has been extremely important in helping the children to develop their fine and gross motor skills. They have also learnt how to wait their turn, play with pupils of different age groups and, creatively, it has given them an opportunity to use their imagination. Playing on the outdoor play equipment has made them happy and a happy child is generally a productive child. It’s not just the children that have benefited from the new playground, a number of parents have told us that they have enjoyed the chance to socialise with other mums and dads.

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


Some schools incorporate rotas into their playtime activities but we’ve found that allowing children of all ages to play on it together has encouraged turn-taking and social skills. This has meant that, far from wanting to get away from school as quickly as possible, they also play on the equipment before and after school too.
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