outstanding outdoor spaces

Brookside Primary School, Lancashire

Brookside Primary School in Clitheroe wanted to create an outdoor learning environment where the children could play and exercise. Headteacher Mrs B. Allan tells us how their new playground has given Brookside Primary School more productive playtimes and exciting outdoor learning.

Why did you want to develop your playground?

The playground at Brookside Primary School used to be bland, empty and uninspiring. We wanted to develop an outdoor space that would provide more opportunities for exciting play and exercise. We believe that it is extremely important that children get sufficient exercise every day. Developing a stimulating and interesting outside environment has encouraged them to get active.

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

From the very beginning Playforce offered excellent customer support and care. Any queries and questions were answered quickly in an efficient and polite manner. The equipment itself is bright and safe – the children loved looking through the brochures to see what was on offer. The high quality products available from Playforce are top of the range and fantastic value for money.
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Since installing the new equipment, the children have been able to choose between a much greater variety of activities. The playground encourages them to be creative with how they use it and, in turn, this leads to much more productive playtimes.

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

We are using our new outdoor space to ensure that our children are fulfilling the requirements of EYFS and participating in a minimum of two hours of exercise per day. The KS1 and KS2 pupils are combining educational play and outdoor learning in a way that is both fun and healthy.

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

Since installing the new equipment, the children have been able to choose between a much greater variety of activities. The playground encourages them to be creative with how they use it and, in turn, this leads to much more productive playtimes. We have also noticed an improvement in the children’s behaviour. They look forward to going outside and this is reflected in the way they behave in the classroom. The opportunity to interact with our new equipment is seen as a reward.

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

It is important to ensure you have support at all stages. Playforce offered us help throughout the planning and designing of our space, brought contractors on site and provided excellent after care. Ensure that you know what is happening at every point in the build and check that everyone is happy along the way.
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