outstanding outdoor spaces

Little Mead Primary Academy, Somerset

Little Mead Primary Academy, in Bristol wanted to ensure their playground was inspiring.  Barbara Daykin, Headteacher and Tom Lewis-White, School Business Manager tell us a bit more about it here.

Why did you want to develop your playground?

Our buildings generally have had a lot of investment over the past 5 years but our playground – which has grown in line with pupil numbers – was quite flat and uninspiring.

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

I liked how visual the designs were, they really helped us to imagine how the playground could be. Playforce stuck well to the brief and really listened to what our plans were for the spaces. Within that brief Playforce made some suggestions that have made a real difference to the feel of the play spaces.

 


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We involved the children in the plans right from the start and this was definitely the best approach.

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

Our children love the big play equipment and climbing wall. It has an appropriate amount of risk for the children and has had a noticeable effect on the number of behaviour incidents during lunch and break times. We also have a wonderful stage with enough seating for 30 children. This provides a creative performance area for pupils who aren’t necessarily interested in climbing, etc. The weather hasn’t been great since the installation but I really hope that it can be used as a curriculum-based performance area over the spring and summer.

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

They obviously love the new playground spaces and run from the classrooms to the climbing frames as soon as the bell goes. Behaviour has improved and our playground looks fantastic.

Can you share any practice insights you have gained?

We involved the children in the plans right from the start and this was definitely the best approach. The pupils have real buy-in to the equipment because it’s exactly what they want, where they want it. It was also a really positive experience for them to be involved in managing a project and seeing the various stages from concept through to the site works. I would recommend a small group of pupils – no more than 8 – who can follow the project through to completion. Getting Playforce in to speak to the children was really beneficial too.

Any other comments about your experience of working with Playforce?

Very positive experience overall. The support has been good, the staff were willing to engage with our pupils and our playground looks wonderful.

 

The equipment we used in this playground is:


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