outstanding outdoor spaces

Highbury Quadrant Primary School, London

The old playground at Highbury Quadrant Primary School was lacking a space for the younger children to enjoy outdoor play. They tell us how their new equipment has opened up play and learning opportunities for the whole school.

Why did you want to develop your playground?

The younger pupils at our school were lacking a space where they could enjoy active and free flow play. We wanted to develop our playground so that we could provide the Early Years children with equipment that was more accessible and suited to their needs. This playground needed to encourage flexible play and inspire creativity both outside and in the classroom.

 

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

We found that by using Playforce we were given a much bigger selection of equipment than other providers. They have a great range for younger pupils and can scale down some of their existing products, such as our Play Lodge, to make them suitable for Early Years children. The team was friendly from the start and we never felt as though we were being pushed with hard sells.

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Spending more time outside has made [the children] happier and healthier, they are full of energy and enthusiasm.

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

The Hide and Climb Lodge is particularly popular with the children at playtimes – they love to invent new scenarios and characters to act out. The Sandpit and Flow Wall give us an opportunity to incorporate sand and water play into some of our lessons, while the Poddely set allows us to move freely between the classroom and the playground. All of this, combined with our shelter, means that we can deliver fun outdoor learning and play in all weathers.

 

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

The flexibility of our new equipment means that we can add variety to our pupils’ daily routines. This has been the biggest benefit we have seen so far because it motivates and inspires them from the first bell in the morning until home time. Spending more time outside has made them happier and healthier, they are full of energy and enthusiasm.

Can you share any practice insights you have gained?

Making sure that you have playground equipment suitable for children of all ages and abilities helps reduce opportunities for squabbling. A well-rounded playground with a variety of activities ensures that everyone can have their turn at enjoying outdoor play.

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