outstanding outdoor spaces

Willow Brook Primary School, Nottinghamshire

Old and tired equipment has been replaced with a brand new and exciting playground development at Willow Brook Primary School.

Why did you want to develop your playground?

Our old playground at Willow Brook Primary School was filled with wooden ‘furniture’ that had become rotten and unattractive very quickly. The artificial grass that we had in place was poor and the whole area looked worn and, in time, was becoming useless. We wanted to develop a new and vibrant playground that would inspire and encourage our children to learn and play outdoors.

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

We had researched a number of different companies on the internet but we found Playforce the most accessible. The visuals on both the website and in the brochure enabled us to piece together what we wanted for our school.
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Our new playground is a bright, attractive and exciting place. The children would be perfectly happy to be out there all day.

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

The outdoor learning environment has become an important and safe space for the childre to be. It is used in some way every single day whether we simply take equiment or games outside, or turn it into a place for make-believe play. We also use the space for physical activities such as bike riding or climbing on the larger play equipment.

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

Our new playground is a bright, attractive and exciting place. The children would be perfectly happy to be out there all day. The new equipment gives them freedom and independence and they have learnt the importance of turn-taking. The hill, playhouse and tunnel are extremely popular and have really stirred imaginations. Some days they are a caravan, others a builder’s workshop – my favourite was when it was an ice cream van!

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

It’s really important to think about what equipment will be the most stimulating and inviting within your school. We wanted to encourage the children to play and learn together so having a permanent sandpit, that is large enough for a big group to get their hands and feet in, was a great recommendation.
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