outstanding outdoor spaces

St Bee’s Village School, Cumbria

The playground at St Bee’s Village School has had a makeover and now pupils are enjoying a new way to play outdoors. They tell us how they have benefited from their new outdoor space.

Why did you want to develop your playground?

Our playground was in need of a transformation. We wanted to turn it into a space where our pupils could develop a range of physical skills as well as provide room for outdoor learning, free flow play and just eating lunch! With such beautiful surroundings, we wanted to make sure our pupils could make the most of spending time in the great outdoors at school too.

 

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

Tucked away by the coast in Cumbria, we were worried we wouldn’t be able to find a playground supplier that would travel the distance for us but Playforce was more than happy to take the job. The team is clearly experienced and it was reassuring to see so many great examples of schools that they have worked with before. Playforce has a fantastic selection of equipment that ensures children are getting well-rounded development and, most importantly, having fun.

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It’s fantastic to hear the children saying they play more outside away from school and we’re certain that this will have long-term benefits for them.

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

How aren’t we using it? Our shelter, whiteboards and chalkboards give us the opportunity to take lessons outside whatever the weather. With the addition of a Poddely set we can enjoy free flow play and learning throughout the seasons. When it’s time to play we’ve got an area dedicated to active play, where the children can develop their physical skills at their own pace. We’ve also got a space where pupils can sit at picnic tables and enjoy their lunch – every child needs a chance to relax.

 

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

The new playground has been a big inspiration to our pupils. No two school days are ever the same and we’ve changed the way we approach outdoor play and learning. It’s fantastic to hear the children saying they play more outside away from school and we’re certain that this will have long-term benefits for them.

Can you share any practice insights you have gained?

If your school is having a playground makeover, think about the different areas you want to include. Sometimes pupils will want to relax in some peace and quiet, other times they’ll want to run around making lots of noise. Having separate areas for them means everyone can get the best of both worlds.

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