outstanding outdoor spaces

Parson Street Primary School, Somerset

The playground at Parson Street Primary School has been transformed into an inspiring outdoor space where learning and playing can coincide. Headteacher Mark Lacey tells us how the project has improved both play and learning outside the classroom.

Why did you want to develop your playground?

After sacrificing a section of our playground in order to rebuild parts of our school, I promised the children a new adventure playground that would be bigger and better than the last. We asked the children and their parents to work alongside our staff and the team at Playforce to design something that would provide the children with an inspiring outdoor space for playing, learning and getting active.

 

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

The team members from Playforce were really enthusiastic and willing to work closely with us to ensure that the scheme suited our requirements. The quality of Playforce’s equipment is second to none and we know that it will keep the children in our school happy (and safe) for years to come.

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The quality Playforce’s equipment is second to none and we know that it will keep the children in our school happy (and safe) for years to come.

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

Within the Early Years department, the children are allowed to choose the activities they want to do and love improvising with the equipment they have available. The Poddely equipment has been a particular ‘hit’ with the younger age-groups. Activity levels have increased during playtimes and PE lessons as a result of this new equipment and we now have facilities for the children to engage in outdoor learning in the outdoor classroom and using the Mini Beast Exploration Table.

 

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

It’s fantastic to see the children so full of enthusiasm. They can all take part in physical activities at different levels, according to their ability, and they don’t think twice about getting active. The equipment has given them the opportunity to challenge each other and to enjoy working as a team.

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

Consult. Consult. Consult! Get the children, parents and staff involved and ensure that all of their different views are incorporated into the grand design! It is also important to introduce the children to each piece of equipment and make sure that they are trained to use it appropriately.

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