outstanding outdoor spaces

Underwood CE Primary School, Nottinghamshire

Head teacher Gareth Letton describes how the new outdoor space at Underwood CE Primary School in Nottingham has allowed his pupils to develop physical skills and take risks in a safe and secure environment.

Why did you want to develop your playground?

Our 132 year old building can be very unforgiving in terms of usable spaces both inside and outside the school, but we had made it a priority to improve the outdoor provision for our Foundation Stage children. Our vision was for free-flow access to the inside and outside environments with children choosing where their learning would take place. We needed Playforce to give us excellent quality fixed equipment and we knew that the creativity of the teacher would see to the rest!

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

Having worked with Playforce at my previous school, I was aware of the brand and the good quality of the products and their excellent design. Our Playforce Outdoor Grounds Consultant was able to interpret my vision for the space and provide a perfect plan to show to the Governing Body. The equipment was then delivered and installed promptly.
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The equipment is universally loved by the children and their carers and their excited, smiling faces are more than worth the cost of the installation!

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

Our belief is that whatever can be learned inside, can be learned outside too. The equipment allows our youngest children to develop their physical skills and abilities but, perhaps more importantly, allows them to take risks in a safe and secure way.

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

The equipment is universally loved by the children and their carers and their excited, smiling faces are more than worth the cost of the installation! They have benefitted from extending their learning outside the classroom and of course from the fresh air.

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

Go and look at other settings before you jump in! It is very difficult, sometimes, to imagine what a space will look like from a plan and it is important to be able to see the ways that other settings are using their outdoor spaces and learn from both their good practice and their mistakes!
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