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Exciting new outdoor play areas get set for creativity

A ‘Jackanory’ corner for storytelling by children and adults alike, with a storyteller chair and artificial grass-topped stools for the audience

Infant pupils are excited to take advantage of the redevelopment work that has been going on in their outdoor classroom and playground over the past few months.

The Reception outdoor classroom is subdivided into specific play zones.

The active play zone features an introductory Pinnacle Hill climbing frame and 15 interchangeable ‘Get, Set, Go!’ blocks to create a mini assault course. These help to build children’s climbing confidence and develop gross and fine motor skills, balance, core stability and upper and lower body strength.

The sand play area has a large sand-pit box with weighing scales so that children can explore, dig, build and investigate different weights, measurements and metrics.

The water play zone – denoted with a blue splash floor surface – features a water wall with a spinning wheel, movable channels and plunge and dam stations to enable the children to learn about gravity, water flow, water recycling, kinetic energy and investigate mass volume and weight.

A mini performance stage with chalkboards also has integrated den-making posts, so it can be used for traditional Drama and Literacy lessons and also converted into an imaginative play-den with holes and grooves to thread and weave materials through to improve tactile and fine motor skills.

Lastly, there is a ‘Jackanory’ corner for storytelling by children and adults alike, with a storyteller chair and artificial grass-topped stools for the audience.

The Infants playground has purposely been designed without play equipment to promote creative and imaginative play.

The abstract playground floor markings are designed using Simon and Tom Bloor’s ‘Formula for Living – Linear Composition’. It is not the average hopscotch or alphabet snake, but an open-ended grid which can be adapted to a multitude of teaching disciplines such as Mathematics, Technology, Geometry and Art.

The linear pattern creates corridors and enclosed zones, challenging the children to measure the lengths, plot paths using specific colours and angles, to find which line produces the most four-sided shapes or what everyday shapes can be made by adding another line. The teaching lesson options are endless!

The canopy outside the RC classroom has also been completed.

Thanks to Ms Michelle Hurst and Mr Phil Chatwood from the school’s Grounds team who worked together with a number of companies to complete the work.

These businesses included Pentagon Play – who design and install outdoor learning environments for schools and nurseries, 10 Architects, Redbridge Interiors, John Turner Construction and Project Playgrounds.

Pre-Reception Building

Work on the new Pre-Reception building is nearing completion.

The development will replace the current Pre-Reception classroom and will have a striking living green roof and utilise eco-friendly technology.

Here are some pictures of the playground at the front of the construction.