outstanding outdoor spaces

Westbourne House Pre-Prep School, West Sussex

At Westbourne House Pre-Prep School, staff wanted to design an outdoor space that was perfect for pre-prep pupils. They tell us how new playground equipment has made outdoor play accessible to even the youngest children.
Why did you want to develop your playground?

The pre-prep and nursery area of our playground needed more equipment that would encourage and improve outdoor play. Our daily routine helps prepare children for Westbourne House Prep School and we wanted to ensure that there was a variety of active, outdoor play available to our youngest pupils. This way we can be certain pupils are preparing for Primary Level with a healthy attitude towards play and exercise.

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

Playforce has a lot of experience working with schools and we felt that their equipment would inspire and motivate our young pupils. We were able to have a playground designed specifically for pre-prep and nursery age children. Making it accessible to all new pupils and created to develop the skills that they need most. As an Ofsted ‘outstanding’ school, we needed quality and compliance, something that Playforce could deliver.
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Being given more opportunities to enjoy active, outdoor play has seen the children be more creative and inspired. They are developing a well-rounded range of physical skills as well as learning the importance of teamwork and coordination
How are you using the space to deliver outdoor learning and educational play?

The new active equipment in the pre-prep playground has become an essential part of playtimes. We let the pupils develop their physical skills at their own pace but encourage them to challenge themselves on the equipment. We incorporate the equipment into a range of extra-curricular activities and, wherever possible, use it as a base for outdoor learning.

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

Being given more opportunities to enjoy active, outdoor play has seen the children be more creative and inspired. They are developing a well-rounded range of physical skills as well as learning the importance of teamwork and coordination. Having separate equipment just for them has helped teach them about caring for property, one of the ‘Westbourne Way’ aims.
Can you share any practice insights you have gained?

In order to encourage outdoor play from a young age it’s important to ensure that the equipment is accessible for all abilities. Feeling uncomfortable about using equipment that isn’t designed for younger children can make pupils hesitant to challenge themselves. Ensuring that the playground is created for pre-prep pupils will help create a positive attitude towards play and exercise.
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