Our team worked closely with St Paul’s Cray CE Primary and Nursery School, Orpington to create an amazing, inspiring new area for their EYFS children to learn, explore, discover and have fun.
The school had a pre-existing playtower with a small surrounding area of wet-pour surfacing, but they wanted Schoolscapes to help them to embark on the next stage of improving their limited outdoor provision. They had already received a few initial playground designs, but we were able to carefully incorporate their current play tower into an inspiring, new, whole-playground beach-themed design, ensuring that in the future, their whole space would be used more effectively.
Their bright and colourful playground now has specific zones, increasing opportunities for children’s physical activity, providing inspiration for creative play and open space for investigative activities. Our colourful choice of artificial grass and wet-pour provide the children with different textures to play on, as well as providing a safe, all weather playground surface. Our clever design incorporates an interesting trackway, grass islands and a wooden timber bridge, to encourage decision making and to improve gross motor skills. Our playtime garage promotes creative thinking and collaborative play through role play and using real-life skills. This allows pupils to develop their social and language skills naturally, through play. We linked the playtower and the trim trail with blue synthetic grass in a fluid river design, as a natural continuation of the beach theme.
The smart, re-energised area now provides a new, challenging trim trail, incorporating a variety of physical activities, encouraging the children to twist, stretch, swing, jump, balance, hang and to generally become much more active. This design includes a clatter bridge, a balance beam, four climbing forest poles, a log crossing and traverse ropes, ensuring the development of a wide range of muscle groups and particularly developing upper body strength. Our thoughtful beach-themed design has made the under-cover EYFS area much more exciting and stimulating and has created a natural flow between the children’s undercover and outside play. Children now free-flow easily between the two engaging areas. The addition of both a post mounted chalkboard and a dry-wipe magnetic panel under the canopy, now allows the children to use mark making and drawing to express their ideas through their creative play. They are now used to both compliment and support the pupils in their use of the other interesting learning resources, already located in their outdoor area. We felt it was important to incorporate all areas of learning into the new playground design, so a clever, closable sand pit was added enabling the children to investigate the world around them and to create imaginative, new landscapes. The children can develop their fine motor skills whilst exploring the sand, using messy play equipment and using small world toys. The easy-to-move, sliding lid ensures the sand is kept clean and it can also be used as seating or a stage for imaginative and creative play. The school had a choice of adding extra markings and chose numbers 0 to 10, which were easily incorporated into their colourful, surface design. The result is an amazing transformation, liberating the children to explore every corner of their playground!
What the School Thinks
Jo Zegeling, Assistant Head Teacher with responsibility for EYFS and KS1, was delighted with the creative collaboration of their old and new equipment, achieved by the Schoolscapes Design Team and shared that:
“The children at St Paul's Cray CE primary School are really benefiting from their newly designed playground. Schoolscapes have produced an attractive playground with an emphasis on developing their physical skills. The children, parents and staff are really pleased with the results. The playground has changed from a concrete playground to an exciting, new and attractive space for learning and play."
Now the outside provision at St Paul’s Cray CE School is a perfect place for any child to embark and continue onwards on their own unique learning journey!