outstanding outdoor spaces

Liden Primary School, Wiltshire

Liden Primary School wanted to celebrate the arts outside whatever the weather. They tell us how a new music and drama performance area in their playground has helped them prepare for the summer show.
Why did you want to develop your playground?
The arts have always been important at Liden Primary School and we wanted to find a way to take them outdoors. We decided to develop our playground so that it could be a space where we could put on performances and enjoy musical activities. Designing a space to incorporate all of this with the addition of fresh air was something we felt would really benefit our pupils.

What were the key elements that made Playforce stand out from other providers?
We had seen examples of a number of schools that had used Playforce before and we were really impressed with the quality. The element that stood out for us is that it’s clear the equipment has been designed with years of experience of working with children. It satisfies all of the aspects of health, safety and compliance but, just as importantly, is created to encourage fun and active play.
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The music panels have changed music lessons. We can now make as much noise as we want without worrying about disturbing other classes.
How are you using the space to deliver outdoor learning and educational play?
The music panels have changed music lessons. We can now make as much noise as we want without worrying about disturbing other classes. The stage and shelter means that we can take lessons outdoors whatever the weather and is the perfect setting for us to put on drama and music performances. The children can’t wait to show off their creative skills to their parents in the summer.

What are the biggest benefits you have seen for the children?
We now have the option to take elements of the school day outside whenever the opportunity arises. This flexibility and variety has given the children a big boost in their creativity and motivation. They are inspired by working in a new environment and this has been reflected across the curriculum. Practicing their music lessons is now a fun play time activity, as is learning their lines for the play.
Can you share any practice insights you have gained?
Creating an outdoor stage for school plays is a brilliant way to make your establishment stand out from the crowd. With the addition of a shelter it means that everything from the summer drama showcase to the Christmas Nativity can take place in a natural environment
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