outstanding outdoor spaces

Yewtree Primary, Hertfordshire

Creative and imaginative play is an important part of the school day at Yewtree Primary. The staff felt that more flexibility between the classroom and the playground would encourage pupils to play and learn wherever there is inspiration.

Why did you want to develop your playground?

Finding innovative and exciting ways to introduce new play to school is at the heart of what we do. Free flow play is a hot topic on the curriculum at the moment and we wanted to deliver it to our pupils in a unique way. Although we were already moving between the classroom and playground during the day, we felt that it needed more flexibility and some inspiration for creative and imaginative play.

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

We were worried that our specifications were too particular but as soon as we saw the Poddely set designed by Playforce we knew that it was the perfect solution. The design is vibrant, safe and innovative and it was good to have the option to see it in action at other schools. The team showed us how we could encourage our pupils to use the set and gave us some great tips for ensuring we had successful free flow play.
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Moving between the classroom and playground more freely has helped the children understand that they can learn and play everywhere.

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

The Poddely set has become a staple part of our school day, we are always using it to add variety to our lessons and break times. The children love having the Poddely set in the classroom for hands-on experiments and demonstrations. They can be inventive with water and sand play outdoors then come inside and talk about their findings round a table they’ve built. At break times we’ve seen everything from castles to cars.

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

Moving between the classroom and playground more freely has helped the children understand that they can learn and play everywhere. The set encourages them to be more creative and imaginative, by adding variety to the school day we have helped boost motivation and productivity too. Not only does it make the pupils happier, the staff love it too. It’s a great way to bring the whole school together to find new ways to play.

Can you share any practice insights you have gained?

Play is the foundation of a happy childhood and by encouraging children to take part in creative and fun play in a variety of environments, we can help ensure that they continue it outside of school. Their imaginations are limitless and free flow play keeps the ideas flowing.
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