outstanding outdoor spaces

Hallmoor Special School, Warwickshire, 2

Hallmoor Special School is enjoying a vibrant and exciting new playground that is accessible to all pupils. They tell us how everyone is benefiting from the transformed outdoor space.

Why did you want to develop your playground?

We wanted to create a new outdoor space that would be fun and exciting for all of our pupils. We have children at the school with a range of disabilities so we wanted to ensure that our new playground would be vibrant and accessible for everyone and could be used to add variety to all areas of the curriculum.

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

From the very start Playforce was approachable and understanding. Their experience working with other Special Schools meant that they knew exactly what equipment would suit the needs of our pupils. The team worked with us and the children to create fun designs that quickly turned into a reality. The playground is totally bespoke and the children feel proud that they helped with the process.
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Our new outdoor space has given the children something to be really proud of.

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

The combination of equipment in our new playground allows us to incorporate outdoor learning and educational play into all aspects of the school day. The musical instruments are a huge hit and are great for sensory play. We have a range of active equipment that allows pupils of all abilities to develop their skills as and when they feel comfortable and the Play Panels are a brilliant way to encourage social interaction.

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

Our new outdoor space has given the children something to be really proud of. We are always finding new and interesting ways to incorporate more outdoor learning and play into the curriculum and some of the best ideas have come from the pupils. It’s fantastic to see all abilities being able to use the playground and we’ve seen improvements in a variety of skills.

Can you share any practice insights you have gained?

Designing a playground suitable for a Special School is much easier with the help of a real expert. Seek out a specialist that not only knows all the health and safety aspects but also understands how to encourage outdoor play for all abilities and how to make it work in the space you have available. That way you’re ticking all the sensible boxes and the fun ones too.
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