outstanding outdoor spaces

St Johns the Baptist RC Primary School, Lancashire

The children at St Johns the Baptist RC Primary School now have a space to play and learn in the great outdoors. Headteacher Mr Heakin tells us how the Early Years pupils are taking their lessons outside.

Why did you want to develop your playground?

Our old playground at St Johns the Baptist RC was lacking play opportunities for the children, particularly the Reception classes. We wanted to develop a new outdoor space that would inspire the children and encourage them to spend more time outside.

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

We have used Playforce at school before and the work carried out was good quality and delivered on time. We were not disappointed again and received a personal service and high quality equipment.
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The children love playing in their new outdoor space, they rush outside to use the equipment. When they are learning outside they are much more involved in their work and play times are more cooperative and imaginative.

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

The new outdoor space is being used daily as part of the Early Years curriculum. All aspects can now be taken outside, offering the same lessons in the classroom and in a natural environment. At lunch times the space is used to take part in more creative and imaginative play.

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

The children love playing in their new outdoor space, they rush outside to use the equipment. When they are learning outside they are much more involved in their work and play times are more cooperative and imaginative. The pupils’ enthusiasm continues into the classroom.

Can you share any best practice insights you’ve gained?

Simple structures can be transformed into completely different play areas with the children’s imaginations. A pirate ship is always a pirate ship but a plain hut can be anything from an evil doctor’s lab to a princess’ castle.
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