outstanding outdoor spaces

St Mary’s Catholic Primary School, London

With free flow play continuing to be an important part of the curriculum, St Mary’s Catholic Primary School wanted to encourage more creative and unlimited opportunities. They tell us how a Poddely Set has made moving between the playground and classroom simple.
Why did you want to develop your playground?
Although we already encouraged free flow play at school, we wanted to try it in a brand new way. In a busy, urban place like London we wanted to add some vibrant equipment to our daily routine that would make the playground act like an extension of the classroom and give pupils flexibility in their play. We have a busy day at St Mary’s so we wanted to ensure that any new play equipment we purchased would be quick and simple to set-up and put away.

What were the key elements that made Playforce stand out from other providers?
We were very interested in the Poddely Sets that Playforce offers and the key thing that caught our eye was the ease of putting it together and taking it apart. We watched the videos on the website and saw just how simple it was to create something brand new with the set and we knew that it was exactly what we were looking for. The Poddely Set is fantastic quality and looks vibrant and exciting.
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Spending more time outdoors has motivated the children and boosted their productivity, while using the Poddely Set has helped develop communication and problem solving skills.
How are you using the space to deliver outdoor learning and educational play?
The question should be how aren’t we using it? We are always finding new ways to introduce the Poddely Set into classes and play times. Staff set challenges during lessons or simply use it to demonstrate experiments. We’ve seen it be used to make picnic benches or princess castles, it really does have unlimited uses. The most important thing to us is that it has enabled easy free flow play and bridges the gap between the classroom and the playground.

What are the biggest benefits you have seen for the children?
Fitting more free flow play into our school day has given our pupils more flexibility and this has resulted in creativity and imaginations going wild. Spending more time outdoors has motivated the children and boosted their productivity, while using the Poddely Set has helped develop communication and problem solving skills. They love to work together to find new ways to play and we’re always impressed with the new creations they make.
Can you share any practice insights you have gained?
Once the children know the ins and outs of the equipment, the rest is really up to their imaginations. We showed them how the Poddely Set fitted together and gave them some ideas to send them on their way. We try to get a balance of setting them specific challenges and letting them create whatever they feel like. It’s good to see them take part in truly free and unlimited play.
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