outstanding outdoor spaces

Daisyfield Primary School, Lancashire

Daisyfield Primary School wanted to develop a playground that would encourage the Reception and Nursery pupils to take part in more outdoor play. Headteacher Joanne Shaw tell us how the school has benefited from the new space.

Why did you want to develop your playground?

At Daisyfield Primary School we were lacking a space where the Reception and Nursery pupils could play and challenge themselves, away from the older pupils. We wanted to create an outdoor space where the younger children could feel comfortable and confident trying new things and taking a few risks. We are keen to encourage healthy and active play throughout the school day and developing a fun, but challenging, environment was the perfect solution.

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

The communication from Playforce was fantastic from the very start. The team kept us updated at all stages of the planning process and were enthusiastic about the staff and pupils contributing their own ideas. Health and safety is of utmost importance to Playforce but it doesn’t let red tape get in the way of having fun. Every piece of equipment has been designed to ensure maximum enjoyment and safety.
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Since installing the new playground we have seen the pupils’ imaginations blossom.

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

After teaching the children how to play on the equipment safely, we have encouraged them to incorporate it into their daily routine. At lunchtime the playground can be anything from a fire station to a chef’s kitchen, we’re amazed by the children’s new-found creativity. Where possible we introduce the equipment into lessons but we are careful to make sure that the way it is used remains different.

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

Since installing the new playground we have seen the pupils’ imaginations blossom. They approach playtimes and lessons with creativity and great motivation. Spending more time outside and exercising has helped the children become happier and healthier, something that every headteacher wants to see.

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

We have found that creating a separate space for the younger children to play in has helped boost their confidence. Often Reception and Nursery pupils can feel discouraged by older children using the equipment easily, having a space where they can develop their mental and physical skills at their own pace has helped dramatically.
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