Creativity and innovation come hand-in-hand with good playground design, and this is exactly what Playforce consultant Lizzy achieved when working alongside the team at Radcliffe Hall C of E Primary School to get maximum use from their outdoor space.
School budget cuts have had a lot of bad press recently, but they don’t have to mean doom and gloom for schools that want to take on a new play project. At Playforce we’ve done the research, and we know that playground investments are worth it.
Last year, the Parent Teacher Association (PTA) at St Nicholas’ CE Primary School contacted Playforce about an outdoor development project they’d been planning in their meetings. They were looking for someone to help them develop their playground with equipment that encouraged their pupils to play outdoors at every opportunity. They turned to us to help make their outdoor space outstanding.
Teachers looking to tackle the Sugar Tax and Sports Premium are getting support from outdoor activities specialists Creative Play. The Chester-based organisation is working with schools throughout the UK to encourage outdoor play and exercise through the installation of high-quality playground equipment.
At Playforce we’ve helped create outstanding outdoor spaces across the country for nearly twenty years. We’ve worked on projects big and small, helping schools at every stage of the process; from fundraising to finishing touches. Akeley Wood Junior School in Milton Keynes approached us about part of a complete Early Years department redevelopment.
Tranmere Rovers captain Steven Jennings has given a thumbs up to a new school playground when he called round to officially open it. The tough tackling midfielder, who has led his side into the play off positions this season, gave a rousing team talk when he attended the official opening at Our Lady and St Edward’s Catholic Primary School in Birkenhead. The new facility was designed, manufactured and installed by outdoor play experts Creative Play. The Chester-based family firm’s mission involved turning a “blank canvas” into a dream destination designed to challenge youngsters’ physical, motor and social skills.
Playground equipment providers Playforce have launched a selection of new products specifically designed to help KS1 and KS2 children to develop mathematical skills outdoors. The range of equipment, which also helps pupils to develop physical skills through climbing activities, was developed in collaboration with the Wiltshire-based company’s partner schools. Playforce offer free consultations to schools looking to find innovative ways to improve learning and play opportunities in their playgrounds.
The most authentic playgrounds are those which consist mainly of natural components: natural landforms, natural surfaces, even natural safety materials. Budgets, space and safety must of course be taken into account. Yet, with enough imagination, it’s relatively cheap and easy to create appealing natural play areas.
Many schools already use the five materials I’m going to discuss, but they generally deploy them on a small scale. Sand and soil, for example, are often kept in trays and brought out for occasional activities. I feel that the real benefits of these materials come when they are used on a large scale - and outdoors.