outstanding outdoor spaces

St Lukes Primary School, London

With Ofsted placing a bigger focus on free flow play, St Lukes Primary School wanted to ensure that there pupils could move easily between the playground and the classroom.

Why did you want to develop your playground?

Recent news from Ofsted has highlighted the importance of free flow play and it was important to us that we able to respond positively with a way of incorporating it even more, into our school routine. We didn’t want to invest in fixed equipment for our playground and we wanted something that would be easy and quick to tidy away when it’s finished with. Storage is an issue at school so we needed something that wouldn’t require us to sacrifice a lot of space.

 

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

Our requirements were quite specific so we were anxious that we wouldn’t be able to find something that suited us perfectly. When we saw the Poddely sets available from Playforce we thought they looked like the ideal solution. They could be tidied away easily into their self-contained storage pods and included all of the equipment we’d need to encourage more free flow play at school.

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The children love using the Poddely set. It has encouraged them to process new challenges in a creative and imaginative way.

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

We try to incorporate the Poddely set into all aspects of the curriculum. Rather than have free flow play as a separate event, we’ve introduced it into a range of lessons and break time activities. We encourage the children to take lessons and team activities outside, with the set, and give them hints and tips for things they can make during lunchtime. We don’t need to give them much advice for play, they’re imaginations are in overdrive making their next creation.

 

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

The children love using the Poddely set. It has encouraged them to process new challenges in a creative and imaginative way. We have seen an improvement in their logical approaches to tasks and in their social coordination with each other. We continue to be impressed by the variety of activities and games they have created with the set – it’s an exciting process to be a part of.

Can you share any practice insights you have gained?

Not all schools have the space for big playground developments but that doesn’t mean that they can’t find other ways to improve free flow play. All children need is a little encouragement and their imaginations will do the rest.

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