outstanding outdoor spaces

Murrayfield Primary School, Suffolk

In need of a playground transformation, Murrayfield Primary School took it as an opportunity to create a fun and inspiring environment for their pupils. They tell us how their new play equipment has made play times and lessons exciting and imaginative.
Why did you want to develop your playground?
We wanted to give our pupils more opportunities to take part in a range of outdoor play and learning activities. We decided that our playground needed a complete transformation and we wanted to develop it into an exciting and vibrant space that would change the way our pupils play. It needed to inspire and motivate, encourage exercise and creativity.

What were the key elements that made Playforce stand out from other providers?
We needed to find a provider that could give our playground a bit of an overhaul. After looking through the Playforce brochure and seeing examples of how they’d helped other schools on their website, we felt confident that the team would be able to create the space we were looking for. They were passionate about play and this was reflected in everything from the innovative designs to involving the children in the planning and selection phases.
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Many of the younger pupils have gained a lot more confidence now that there are more ways to encourage them to interact with others – it’s great to see everyone getting along.
How are you using the space to deliver outdoor learning and educational play?
The new playground has lots of spaces and zones, each offering something unique. We have an area filled with picnic tables and games where children can enjoy a peaceful play time and some lunch. If they want spend time with their friends and stretch their legs they can use the Play Lodge or, should they be feeling creative, the white boards, Tipi and Play Cabin area is the place to be. We don’t just restrict the playground to break times, it’s the perfect way to take lessons outdoors and mix up the daily routine.

What are the biggest benefits you have seen for the children?
Since transforming our playground we have seen number of improvements in the children’s physical, communicative and creative skills. They are inspired by playing and learning in the great outdoors and this new-found inspiration is carried across their other academic subjects too. Many of the younger pupils have gained a lot more confidence now that there are more ways to encourage them to interact with others – it’s great to see everyone getting along.
Can you share any practice insights you have gained?
The picnic table area has been very popular with our pupils. It’s good to have a space where they can relax as well as take part in active and creative play. The games on the tables inspire logical thinking, when they head outside they get a good all-round challenge.
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