outstanding outdoor spaces

St Nicholas C of E VA Primary, Hertfordshire

Ruth Kieran, Deputy Headteacher at St.Nicholas CE VA Primary in Hertfordshire tells us how limited their outdoor space. They felt that there was much they could do to more fully utilize the space available, like having activities to engage and challenge the children in different ways. They also felt that this would have a positive impact on behaviour at break times.

Why did you want to develop your playground?

Our outdoor space is very limited and we felt that there was much we could do to more fully utilize the space available. We wanted activities to engage and challenge the children in different ways. We also felt that this would have a positive impact on behaviour at break times.

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

The customer service was outstanding, Playforce really responded to our needs and were very supportive of the constraints of time and budget. Playforce offered the best design and the best value for money so their quote was the obvious choice. We also had recommendations from another school.

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Playforce offered the best design and the best value for money so their quote was the obvious choice. We also had recommendations from another school.

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

The climbing apparatus is challenging the children physically and also teaching them about risk taking. They are learning to work together and consider each other’s safety and feelings. The stage area, music area and mark making is allowing the children to express creativity and cooperate together. The large construction equipment is challenging the younger children to work together to create structures both in child initiated and more directed activities.

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

The children are happy, excited and challenged at break times. They have a much wider range of options available to them and this has enabled all groups of children to be busy and engaged. We have fewer incidents of silly behavior as a result of children being bored or disengaged.

Can you share any practice insights you have gained?

The whole installation was excellent in its management.

Any other comments about your experience of working with Playforce?

The whole experience was extremely positive from start to finish. Nicci did an excellent job of listening to our needs and the 3D designs were amazing and really helped us to ‘picture’ the plans. The whole project was completed smoothly and in a tight timeframe. The installation team worked efficiently and tidily and with minimum impact on the everyday workings of the school.

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