outstanding outdoor spaces

Herons Dale School, West Sussex

The KS2 pupils at Herons Dale School have an imaginative way to play and learn with their new outdoor environment.

Why did you want to develop your playground?

At Herons Dale School we decided that it was time to undergo a great transformation of the KS2 outdoor space to enhance the children’s learning experience of the curriculum both inside and outside. Developing our playground would allow us to take some of our classroom activities outdoors and encourage our pupils to interact with the environment.

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

We were aware of Playforce because of their great local and national track record. We decided to develop our outdoor space with Playforce because the team put an equal emphasis on the importance of creating a fun and stimulating environment for the children and the health and safety aspects involved.
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Encouraging educational play has made the children really look forward to getting outside and active.

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

Our new KS2 outdoor learning environment is being used to extend teaching into the playground. We can now combine educational play with outdoor learning to ensure that the pupils are getting a great variety in their academic day.

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

Encouraging educational play has made the children really look forward to getting outside and active. They are much more motivated in lessons and it is much easier to incorporate all aspects of the curriculum into their schedule. The new playground has been a success with all age groups but the KS2 pupils have benefited in particular from their new learning environment.

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

Work productively with the team at Playforce, the staff and pupils to come up with a shopping list of ideas. This means that everyone can go through the possible options together and mix-and-match until the perfect combination is found.
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