outstanding outdoor spaces

Whitehills Primary School, Northamptonshire

Wanting to make the playground an extension of the classroom, Whitehills Primary School were seeking an innovative way to take part in free flow play. Their new Poddely set has helped deliver flexible and creative play.

Why did you want to develop your playground?

We’ve always been firm believers in the importance of free flow play in school but we wanted to deliver it to our pupils in a new and innovative way. We felt that further bridging the gap between the classroom and the playground would encourage our children to spend more time outdoors and reap the benefits of their natural environment.

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

There are a lot of solutions for free flow play on the market but the Poddely sets from Playforce really stood out to us. They presented the flexibility we needed for moving between the classroom and playground but we wouldn’t have to sacrifice a lot of space. The team explained exactly how the set could be used at our school and showed us examples of other settings using it to deliver free flow play.
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Incorporating more free flow play into our curriculum has inspired the children to be more creative and develop their problem solving skills.

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

We have tried to make the Poddely set another tool in our school toolbox. Rather than dedicate session to it, we’re incorporating it into all elements of the school day. It is on hand to make easels for art classes or create benches for story time. At break times the children are free to use it as they wish, the staff often find themselves using the ideas that the children invent.

 

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

Incorporating more free flow play into our curriculum has inspired the children to be more creative and develop their problem solving skills. They approach new challenges in a more positive and proactive way. The investigative skills they have learnt from using the set are transferred into a number of other lessons during school time. We have been very impressed with their inventiveness when using the equipment and we have seen a big improvement across the board.

Can you share any practice insights you have gained?

Children’s imaginations are amazing and as the Poddely set has no limits, it’s a fantastic opportunity to see how far their ideas can be stretched. Leaving the pupils to their own devices lets them run wild with their ideas and create something new every time. The possibilities really are endless.
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