Why did you want to develop your playground?
Over the past few years the staff have engaged in a curriculum review and as a result have created a curriculum that we feel is relevant, appropriate and exciting for the children in our school. Our creative curriculum features skills that we feel are important for children to learn and practice. Children use the outdoors where learning can be child-initiated and where opportunities available can be enhanced or extended. We also know that children enjoy being outside and we want to harness that enthusiasm. The school has a good outdoor space with areas of shade, a large grassed area, a timber trail, school garden, plants, trees and shrubs. However the playground, a large tarmac area with some seating, planters and markings, was identified as the area for further development. Here we aimed to encourage purposeful play to include a wider range of experiences including imaginative play, role play, problem solving and risk taking.
What were the key elements that made Playforce stand out from other providers?
We are committed to being a Healthy School and some years ago, as part of an initiative to encourage children to be more active, we had a Timber Trail installed by Playforce. We met with our consultant James who listened to us and understood our aims and objectives for the project. The design reflected our requirements and there was an element of choice which we could then present to the children to help us to decide on the elements to be included. The work was commissioned to take place during a holiday which provided “wow factor” for the children on their return to school. The Timber Trail was of a very high standard and made from wood, rope and minimum amounts of metal for strength and foundations. The result was fit for purpose, aesthetically pleasing and good value for money. The workmanship was of such a high standard that there have been no problems with after care – just an annual inspection – which to date has involved general wear and tear repair despite being used daily by 180 children! From our previous experience with the Timber Trail, we were fully confident to commission Playforce to design, carry out our playground development to a high standard and within the agreed timescale.