outstanding outdoor spaces

Ryder Hayes County Primary School, Staffordshire

The new playground at Ryder Hayes County Primary School provides the children with an outdoor space where they can have fun, learn and be safe.

Why did you want to develop your playground?

At Ryder Hayes County Primary we had previously spent time and money developing the internal aspects of the school. The outside learning environment, however, remained uninspiring and lacked fixed resources as well as a space to shelter from the elements. We wanted to develop a playground that would meet the correct educational needs and provide a space for the children to take part in outdoor learning and play.

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

We chose Playforce because it was the only company to see how the space could be used through our eyes. We needed a space that would meet the educational needs of the EYFS curriculum and the team knew exactly how to deliver that. The governors were very impressed with Playforce’s holistic design approach as they were able to see the whole ‘vision’.
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All of our children love the new equipment and they now have lots more things to do at break times.

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

The outdoor classroom is being used by the Reception class children as a space in which indoor learning can be continued outside. At play time the range of equipments bursts into life as the children head outdoors to role play, dig, get physical and even do maths! We encourage the children to use the space however they want to be creative and imaginative.

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

All of our children love the new equipment and they now have lots more things to do at break times. The great range of activities has helped to keep them fit, active and healthy. The pupils go on new adventures every day and the equipment is brilliant at sparking off imaginative play. Transforming both the Infants and Juniors playgrounds has greatly improved playtime behaviour.

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

Thinking about the project as a whole ‘vision’ is a good way to show prospective funders, parents and children what the end result will look like. This also gives everyone the opportunity to include their own ideas and suggestions at any stage.
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