outstanding outdoor spaces

Hadley Wood Primary School, Hertfordshire

Looking for a new way to encourage free flow play, Hadley Wood Primary School chose a Poddely Set to bridge the gap between the classroom and the playground. They tell us how the children have benefited from flexible play and learning.
Why did you want to develop your playground?
To keep up with the latest changes in the curriculum, we wanted to find an innovative and creative way to incorporate more free flow play into our daily routine. We decided that we wanted play equipment that would be flexible and imaginative, something that would be easy to set-up and wouldn’t take up much space. We felt that this flexibility would allow us to make the playground an extension of the classroom and not a separate space.

What were the key elements that made Playforce stand out from other providers?
We researched a lot of free flow play options and it was the Poddely Set from Playforce that stood out the most. The website was very useful and enabled us to see how other schools have used the set, as well as give us tips on setting it up and ideas for how to use it. The set is truly unique and the children love it, it’s a fantastic and different way to bring free flow play into a school.
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Using the Poddely Set requires the children to tap into their problem solving skills. These skills are being transferred across the curriculum and they face new challenges with a positive and inventive attitude.
How are you using the space to deliver outdoor learning and educational play?
The Poddely Set is used during lessons and at break times to deliver fun free flow play. During class we use the set to create seating and easels, as well as building water and sand flow experiments for first-hand demonstrations and exercises. When the children head out for break time, they use the Poddely Set to create anything their imaginations will allow. We’ve been very impressed with the variety of scenarios they’ve made.

What are the biggest benefits you have seen for the children?
Using the Poddely Set requires the children to tap into their problem solving skills. These skills are being transferred across the curriculum and they face new challenges with a positive and inventive attitude. The set has allowed us to spend more time outdoors. This is something that has been refreshing to the pupils and has given them a motivation and productivity boost.
Can you share any practice insights you have gained?
We’ve found that the children don’t need much instruction when it comes to finding new things to create with the set. We went through the basics of putting the pieces together with them but then left them to their own devices. The number of ways the set can be used is only limited by their imaginations, we’re always surprised by what they manage to create.
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