outstanding outdoor spaces

Welcombe Hills School, Warwickshire

All of the children at Welcombe Hills School are enjoying the benefits of their new and stimulating playground equipment from Playforce.

Why did you want to develop your playground?

The playground equipment that we previously owned at Welcombe Hills School was becoming very worn and tired. We also lacked provision for our pupils with profound and multiple disability. The playground had no areas of interest for the pupils and we wanted to develop an outdoor environment where all of the children could play and learn together.

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

The team members from Playforce who came out to the school had a really good understanding of what we wanted and knew exactly how to make the most of the space we had available. They were realistic about what equipment we could buy with our budget and were passionate about the project.
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The climbing frame has been a great hit with our pupils and it has helped the children develop their physical skills by progressing through the three different ways to climb up it.

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

We have divided our space so that there are areas for all pupils to benefit from the outdoor learning environment. The pupils are more engaged with the task at hand when they are in the outdoor areas and the staff are more motivated to join in and play too.

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

The climbing frame has been a great hit with our pupils and it has helped the children develop their physical skills by progressing through the three different ways to climb up it. Our pupils who have disabilities are gaining the confidence they need to explore the world around them. We’ve noticed a big difference in the way that the children work and play together to use the equipment in imaginative and creative ways.

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

We have had great success with fencing off our smaller areas that are attached to the classroom. These enclosed, but outdoor, spaces make really good learning environments. Having a separate area for the swing has also given the children some independence when choosing to walk to and from it.
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