outstanding outdoor spaces

Davyhulme Primary School, Lancashire

Deputy headteacher Jane Bailey wanted to divide a large area of tarmac into a number of different zones both for play and as an outdoor learning space.

Why did you want to develop your playground?

We wanted our large area of tarmac to be broken up into zones allowing for different types of play activity. The children were keen to express their views and designed their ideal playground including a bell zone, skipping zone and timber trail zone. We also wanted to enable the playground to be used not just for playtime, but to support and be used during teaching sessions as part of our outdoor learning space.

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

Playforce provide good quality products that are both attractive in design and materials. Their products are safe and have the added bonus of annual maintenance being taken care of.
shadow
shadow
We have found that the children have become more physically active, especially as they like the competitive element of who can be the fastest.

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

We are using the space at playtime and lunchtime. The children also have allocated times for sole use for a particular class as well as extra sessions for rewards. We also use it as a part of teaching maths, such as activities using the timer – we have introduced a ‘trim trail trial’ to see who can compete the fastest.

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

We have found that the children have become more physically active, especially as they like the competitive element of who can be the fastest. It is also very popular, with children still racing to it at the start of playtime. It has also helped at lunchtimes as it allows a large number of children to play in little area as well as giving the children purposeful activity.

Can you share any practice insights you have gained?

We time tracked the use of the timber trail to ensure that everyone has equal times on it. It is also nice to hear the children get excited when it is their turn. We funded the timber trail through fundraising from our friends and PTA so we arranged for a plaque to be put up stating ‘donated by the friends’. This raised the profile of the PTA and also encouraged parents to support PTA fundraising events as they were able to see what had been purchased with the money raised.
share!
shadow