outstanding outdoor spaces

Selborne Primary School, Middlesex

Inspired by the British Year of Sport, Selborne Primary School used the Olympic Legacy to develop their playground into a space for healthy, active play. They tell us how their new play equipment has helped pupils get excited about exercise.
Why did you want to develop your playground?
Our pupils were really inspired by the British Year of Sport and as part of the Olympic Legacy we wanted to develop our playground into a space for healthy, active play. We needed play equipment that would make exercise fun for all ages and abilities. By instilling our pupils with a positive attitude towards getting active, we felt that we would be encouraging a healthy and happy mindset for life.

What were the key elements that made Playforce stand out from other providers?
We wanted to find play equipment that would really make our school stand out. Not only did we want it to encourage a range of active skills, we also wanted to make sure that it was fun for the children. The team at Playforce knew exactly what we were looking for and worked hard to create the perfect designs for our space. It is evident that they have years of experience working with schools and this reassured us that we were going to have a space that would last long into our school’s future.
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The new play equipment has made it easy for us to encourage the pupils to make the transition from play to sport. Exercising is fun and flexible, they love challenging themselves and each other on the equipment and are developing a range of physical skills.
How are you using the space to deliver outdoor learning and educational play?
The new play equipment has made it easy for us to encourage the pupils to make the transition from play to sport. Exercising is fun and flexible, they love challenging themselves and each other on the equipment and are developing a range of physical skills. They no longer associate exercise with dreary lessons or constrained indoor spaces, they see it as a change to unleash their imaginations in a natural space.

What are the biggest benefits you have seen for the children?
Our playground has given the children a positive and healthy attitude towards exercise. They are excited to get outside and active and they are enjoying a range of sports not just in the new space. Their motivation is reflected across academic subjects too and they are full of energy when they return to the classroom. It’s encouraging to see them develop a happy mindset about being healthy.
Can you share any practice insights you have gained?
Just because the Olympics aren’t in Britain again, it doesn’t mean they can’t still be an inspiration to get active. If pupils are showing interest in sports from across the world, find ways to incorporate them into the learning timetable. Making the transition from play to sport is a natural one and it is even easier with some inspiration.
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