outstanding outdoor spaces

Kings Park Academy, Wiltshire

After years of fundraising Kings Park developed a Healthy and Active Zone, designed for the children by the children, that the school can enjoy for years to come.

Why did you want to develop your playground?

For some time we had wanted to provide the children at Kings Park Primary School with a Healthy and Active Zone. Creating a playground that would support their physical development and encourage active play was something that would benefit all of the pupils at our school. We carried out fundraising events – everything from treasure hunts to sponsored fire walks – until we raised enough money to start building our new outdoor space.

 

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

The children had voted for the activities they wanted to see in their new playground, climbing and swinging being the top two, and Playforce took all of their ideas and turned them into a design. The team ensured that all children of varying ages and abilities would be able to benefit from the outdoor space. Equipment was chosen to give confidence to those pupils who need it and challenges for those that are looking for adventure.

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The new play zone has made the pupils more creative and active. They are always looking for new games to play on the equipment and work together to set challenges and competitions.

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

Our Healthy and Active Zone is being used on a daily basis to encourage children to challenge their physical skills. It is designed to develop key muscle groups through a wide variety of activity, with a mixture of prescriptive, structured play and social, cooperative interaction.

 

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

The new play zone has made the pupils more creative and active. They are always looking for new games to play on the equipment and work together to set challenges and competitions. They are using their imaginations – one boy has started a gymnastics club – and this is transferred onto their attitude towards classroom activities.

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

We carried out fundraising events for three and a half years to earn the budget that we wanted for our playground. Getting the school and community involved in the project helps raise awareness of the importance of active play and gives the pupils and staff a sense of achievement and accomplishment.

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