outstanding outdoor spaces

St John Fisher Primary School, Oxfordshire

St John Fisher Primary School needed a new area in their playground that would give pupils the opportunity to develop their agility and physical skills. They tell us how their new play equipment has helped the children be more creative, athletic and confident.
Why did you want to develop your playground?
The old playground at St John Fisher Primary School was lacking an area that would encourage the children to take part in more active play. We wanted to develop the space so that it would encourage our pupils to exercise more often and build up a more positive attitude towards being active and challenging themselves. Our new space needed to boost agility and flexibility and, most importantly, be fun.

What were the key elements that made Playforce stand out from other providers?
Playforce really understand play (and fun). Their equipment stood out as the most exciting and innovative, as well as the best quality. It’s obvious that the team has years of experience under their belts and they put in a lot of effort to help us design the perfect space. They worked with us and the children to ensure the designs included all of our requirements and they kept us informed at every stage of the build. The children loved watching the playground go up and they feel very proud to have been involved in the process.
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Adding some more exercise to the daily routine has given our pupils a big boost. They are more productive and motivated when they return to the classroom and they can’t wait to get back outside to find a new challenge.
How are you using the space to deliver outdoor learning and educational play?
The new playground has lots of options for clambering and climbing. The children are inventive with their play and love setting themselves little challenges across the equipment. We explain how to use the equipment and suggest games that they can play, to improve their agility, but once they’re out there, their imaginations do the rest.

What are the biggest benefits you have seen for the children?
Adding some more exercise to the daily routine has given our pupils a big boost. They are more productive and motivated when they return to the classroom and they can’t wait to get back outside to find a new challenge. It has encouraged them to address new topics and problems with a new found confidence. They are more imaginative and creative in and out of the classroom.
Can you share any practice insights you have gained?
Children love to climb and explore their surroundings and by giving them a safe space to do it at school, they are more likely to grow up with a positive attitude towards getting outside and active. It’s the perfect way to instill a healthy mindset about exercise for later in life.
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