outstanding outdoor spaces

Windmill Primary School, Shropshire

The staff at Windmill Primary School wanted to give their pupils more opportunities to play and learn outside. They tell us how a new Poddely set has bridged the gap between the classroom and the playground and encouraged more free flow play.
Why did you want to develop your playground?
Free flow play is becoming an increasingly important part of the curriculum and we felt as though we needed to find a more creative way of delivering it to our pupils. We wanted to have the opportunity to take a range of lessons and activities outside without worrying about setting up complicated equipment or investing in a permanent structure in our playground.

What were the key elements that made Playforce stand out from other providers?
We were struggling to find something that would allow us to deliver free flow play on a regular basis. We’d looked at fixed equipment and other alternatives but nothing really caught our eye. We heard about Poddely sets by Playforce and we instantly knew it would be the perfect solution. The Playforce website let us look at Poddely sets in action and read about how other schools in a similar situation had benefited from them.
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The problem solving and discovery skills that they have developed using the set are making an appearance in other classes, they approach new subjects and challenges with a positive attitude.
How are you using the space to deliver outdoor learning and educational play?
The children love the Poddely set so much that we are using it to deliver a range of outdoor learning and educational play. If we’re carrying out activities in the classroom and the sun comes out we can transfer the lesson outside easily. This is inspiring the pupils and the teachers. We’ll show the children how to set up certain aspects of the set and then leave them to their own devices at break times. They’re always inventing new ways to play.

What are the biggest benefits you have seen for the children?
Being able to move easily between the classroom and the playground has motivated the children. Even when it’s raining they want to take the set outside to experiment with the water flow features. The problem solving and discovery skills that they have developed using the set are making an appearance in other classes, they approach new subjects and challenges with a positive attitude.
Can you share any practice insights you have gained?
Poddely sets are very multi-functional and we’ve rarely found an aspect of the school day that they can’t be incorporated into. If the staff are running short of ideas just let the children unleash their imaginations on the set. We’re constantly surprised and impressed by the clever and inventive ideas our pupils come up with.
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