outstanding outdoor spaces

Usworth Colliery Primary School, Tyne & Wear,

The children at Usworth Colliery Primary School have finally got the adventurous outdoor space they wanted. Headteacher Carole Colling tells us how their new playground is being used by all pupils from EYFS to Year 6, to develop their physical and social skills.

Why did you want to develop your playground?

The children at Usworth Colliery Primary School have been asking for a new, more adventurous outdoor space for a number of years. We decided it was time to upgrade our playground and develop it into something that could be used for outdoor learning and educational play.

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

Initially we were recommended Playforce by another school and it didn’t take long for us to see why. Their prompt response to our enquiry was followed by excellent work with the children to come up with the design. The delivery was efficient and effective and the installation was organised to suit our timetable.
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We’ve loved seeing the children get pure enjoyment from using the equipment. It has helped them improve their physical skills and confidence as well as their social and collaborative skills.

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

Our outdoor space is used by all of the children from EYFS to Year 6 on a rota basis. This enables us to use the equipment as an incentive and we’ve been impressed by the way this has improved the children’s ability to share. We’ve noticed that it has been particularly well used by the EYFS children, developing them physically and socially. Something that is crucial to focus on at such a young age.

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

We’ve loved seeing the children get pure enjoyment from using the equipment. It has helped them improve their physical skills and confidence as well as their social and collaborative skills. They can work together to set up and use the equipment and help each other find new ways to play and learn with it.

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

I think we were right to look at this as one ‘phase’ of a bigger project, as opposed to trying to develop the whole space in one go. We took particular care to install the equipment in a way that allows for different ‘modules’ to be added.
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