outstanding outdoor spaces

St. Paulinus RC Primary School, Redcar and Cleveland

A new Timber Trail at St. Paulinus RC Primary School has provided the children with the motivation and stimulation to interact with their environment.

Why did you want to develop your playground?

At St. Paulinus RC Primary School we have great grounds for the children to play in. However the space was lacking equipment that would encourage the pupils to interact with each other and the environment in an educational and creative way. We wanted to develop a new playground so that the children could release their imaginations and feel motivated by their surroundings.

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

The team members at Playforce that we spoke to were really helpful when it came to organising the development around our budget. They created a number of plans that allowed us to try different combinations of equipment until we found the perfect mix for the space and money that we had available.
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Since developing our new playground the children have gained confidence in their physical abilities as the Timber Trail allows them to build up their skills at their own pace.

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

We developed our playground with the Timber Trail so that the children would be encouraged to take part from start to finish. The various sections of the trail test and develop different aspects of the pupil’s physical and mental abilities. We want the children to be creative with their usage of the new playground, so we also incorporate the trail into lessons.

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

Since developing our new playground the children have gained confidence in their physical abilities as the Timber Trail allows them to build up their skills at their own pace. We’ve noticed that some of the less confident pupils are now the first to come up with imaginative ways to use the equipment.

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

A smaller budget doesn’t have to mean that a good outdoor learning environment is sacrificed. Keep trying different plans and ideas until the perfect solution is found. There is always a way to create a stimulating outdoor space for children, whatever the budget.
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