outstanding outdoor spaces

Ryvers School, Berkshire

Making outdoor play and learning an exciting and natural experience was top priority for Ryvers School. They tell us how their new playground has changed the children’s attitudes towards exercise.
Why did you want to develop your playground?
Our old playground was in need of a little TLC and we wanted to give it a new, natural look that would blend with the school’s surroundings. To get the most out of our outdoor space we wanted to develop a playground that would be multi-purpose and allow us to deliver outdoor learning and educational play in a number of different ways.

What were the key elements that made Playforce stand out from other providers?
The huge variety of equipment that Playforce offers made us feel like we could create anything we wanted. There were so many options to choose from, but not so many that it was overwhelming, and the team knew exactly what items would help us make the perfect playground. The team was friendly and clearly experienced, they ensured that we knew exactly what was happening from start to finish.
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There were so many options to choose from, but not so many that it was overwhelming, and [Playforce] knew exactly what items would help us make the perfect playground.
How are you using the space to deliver outdoor learning and educational play?
The question is how aren’t we using it? Our new Woodland Towers have been fantastic for encouraging the children to be more active at playtimes and its natural effect makes them feel as though they are really exploring the wilderness. We have set challenges on the towers for sports activities and the other equipment, such as the Sandpit and Free Standing Scales, has been incorporated into a variety of lessons.

What are the biggest benefits you have seen for the children?
Making the playground more fun and active has made our pupils happier and healthier. Now that outdoor play and learning is no longer restricted to PE lessons and playtimes, the children are reaping the benefits of the fresh air across all aspects of the curriculum. They are motivated and productive and the diversity of activities has improved their mindsets and attitudes. We are amazed by the difference a daily dosage of outdoor play has made.
Can you share any practice insights you have gained?
We’ve noticed how the natural look of the Woodland Towers has encouraged the pupils to see their outdoor surroundings as an adventure. We hope that by showing them from an early age, and within a safe environment, that the great outdoors can be fun, they will grow up with a positive and caring attitude towards exercise and the environment.
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