outstanding outdoor spaces

Shenley Lodge Pre-School, Buckinghamshire

Shenley Lodge Pre-School hits all the right notes with their new playground development.
Why did you want to develop your playground?
At Shenley Lodge Pre-School we wanted to enhance our outdoor space so that it could be a place where the children could develop their motor skills and large muscle movements. We also wanted the playground to be a place where the children could be creative and release their imaginations.

What were the key elements that made Playforce stand out from other providers?
We explored a variety of products from a number of different providers of outdoor musical instruments but Playforce clearly stood out to us as the right choice due to the robustness of its products. The team at Playforce incorporated all of our ideas into their plans and encouraged the whole school to get involved with the design process.
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One of the biggest benefits we have noticed from our playground development is that is has been particularly successful in encouraging shy children to venture outside and play.
How are you using the space to deliver outdoor learning and educational play?
Our new outdoor learning environment is being used to enhance the children’s time spent outside and to provide them with innovative equipment that will spark their imaginations. The outdoor musical instruments are a unique way to encourage our pupils to get involved with the natural environment and use it as inspiration.

What are the biggest benefits you have seen for the children?
One of the biggest benefits we have noticed from our playground development is that is has been particularly successful in encouraging shy children to venture outside and play. The pupils are working together to create new ways of using the equipment and are happy to help others.
Can you share any practice insights you have gained?
Focusing on one activity, music, allowed us to incorporate the outdoor space into our curriculum more easily. We were able to invest in enough equipment so that whole classes can take part in musical activities together and there is plenty of variety for different abilities. Choosing whether to concentrate on one area or include a bit of everything entirely depends on the school and its pupils.
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