outstanding outdoor spaces

Friars primary school

19 February 2018

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Back in October we were delighted to join Friars Primary Foundation School at the opening of their new playground and outdoor space.

Olympic athlete, Serita Solomon joined cut the ribbon to open the new playground that is, in the school’s own words, is the envy of Southwark! They transformed their concrete outdoor space into something that will engage children in outdoor learning, active play and having lots and lots of fun.

If you’d like to see some photos of the opening ceremony then have a look on their website here.

It was a wonderful project to work on. You can read more about it in our latest case study.

What set it apart, however, was how fantastic Miss Wratten (deputy headteacher) and Diane Larkins (school business manager) were at involving the children in setting the priorities and agreeing the elements that needed to be included. In our opinion, this always makes a huge difference. As we explained in our recent blog, when you’ve spent time thinking about surfacing, equipment, design and budgets it can be easy to forget fun. The most important part.  It’s always a good idea to involve children in the design process for every playground.  They will be your toughest critics and help you make sure it’s not only current but great fun! 

Working together Playforce and Friars Primary Foundation School transformed the space from concrete plains to a wonderland of grassy play, with features including climbing ropes, tunnels, slides and an outdoor performance stage. The playground also includes a nature zone with a hexagonal viewing pond and a creative rainbow wetpour area.

But, having worked hard to engage the children in the design process, the real test was their reaction to the finished space.

"I love the new playground, it's so fun and has been modelled really well. I hope the climbing opens tomorrow." Tareef Year 4
 
"The new playground is really good, I can't wait for the whole thing" Rhys Year 5
 
"I really want to go in the rope nest. I can't wait" Hafsa Year 6
 
"Everything's going so well with the new playground." Sean Year 3
 
"The playground's really cool because there is so much equipment to use." Jeylan Year 5
 
"The playground is fun because there's lots to do" Nellie Year 6 "And the rainbow looks exciting." Lucy Year 6
 
"The playground is very nice. We like the slide best." Amira and Sadeem Year 1
 
"I really like the slide, it's a new improvement as we've never had one. I'm really excited for the swing and ropes." Aaliyah Year 5



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