ESP Play was asked to design and install a new playground area that was more inviting, stimulating and engaging for EYFS children.

School: Long Lee Primary School

Location: Bradford, West Yorkshire


Long Lee Primary School in Bradford requested a meeting with ESP Play to discuss the possibility of developing their outdoor provision in EYFS.

Sue Holdsworth, Headteacher, wanted to create an outstanding environment for the pupils to learn.  It was really important to the school to ensure the outdoor provision offered progression from indoor teacher led activities and encouraged child initiated imaginative learning.  It was important to select the correct playground equipment and design the space in a way that would develop interaction amongst the pupil and promote the development of their communication and language.  This was a large investment for the school so it was important to get key staff leaders involved in the design process. ESP Play met with the EYFS team and with Sue and designed a free flowing design that made the most of the existing footprint.

The Project

The final development connected an upper playground to a lower playground by cleverly integrating a play slide within a wall that separated the play areas.  We utilised an existing staircase to make it apart of the play experience that connected the lower playground to the upper one.

The school had a beautiful natural treed area at the front of the playground that was totally under used, as it was very muddy.  We installed an all year round, natural looking bonded bark surface to go over the muddy surface and around the tree and included new play experiencing including a large sand pit, a wigwam and tree seats to make use of the natural shade.

The main tarmac area saw a brand new block-paving roadway installed to integrate varying textures and to provide wider sensory experiences. Also included in this area was a construction area, mark making stations, the popular raised woodland play hut, an amphitheatre, artificial grass and a magnetic water wall.

The outcome

This outstanding playground now provides an outdoor provision that is set up and ready to use every day. Teachers are able to add features to create teacher led learning, but this design now provides high quality, daily opportunities for children to play and develop their key early learning goals.