The Rookeries School ESP Play Case Study

In 2020, the Pontefract Academies Trust decided to make a significant investment within the outdoor provision for EYFS at The Rookeries School. This was to help cater for more children as the school expanded to a one and half form entry.

School: The Rookeries School

Location: Pontefract, West Yorkshire

The Rookeries J, I & N School was built in 1961 and is situated in the south-east of Pontefract, West Yorkshire, in a semi-rural setting opposite the picturesque Carleton Green. It backs on to open fields and the Rookeries' trees – after which the school is named.

There are currently around 260 children aged 4 to 11 in the school, which allows for a lively learning environment where children of all ages are encouraged to play with each other, share their work with each other and be respectful and mindful of each other’s feelings at all times.

The main school is in a modern building which has, in recent years, benefitted from significant refurbishment to create light and attractive classrooms, providing a stimulating environment for learning.

In 2018 it was decided, by the Wakefield Pupil Placement Planning Department, that The Rookeries would expand to one and a half form entry. Last year the school had an extension to create two spacious classrooms and a dance/music studio.

Our children benefit from many additional aspects to the school environment including three good-sized playgrounds, as well as ample playing fields.

The school is part of the Pontefract Academies Trust. The Trust is a cross phase Multi Academy Trust comprising of eight schools: six primaries and two 11-16 secondary schools. They are a medium sized family of schools all located within Pontefract. They educate over 3500 children and young people across the town.

In 2020, the Trust decided to make a significant investment within the outdoor provision for EYFS. Children and staff at the Rookeries are now able to take advantage of state-of-the-art outdoor provision.  This amazing playground equipment challenges the full portfolio of gross and fine motor skills.  The children are challenge on a daily basis to balance, co-ordinate, build upper body strength.  Also included are planting areas, den making and textured pathways and roadways to help heighten the senses and encourage creative play. This fantastic design also includes an outdoor stage for performances, reading corners, a natural water feature designed to help strengthen problem-solving skills.  Wildlife has been integrated in to the play area design through the use of bird and ladybird boxes to promote discovery and curiosity.

Julian Appleyard, Chief Executive Officer of the trust, said: “Outdoor learning is a great way to engage with children and bring their classroom projects to life. The feedback from the children, parents and staff to their new facilities has been phenomenal and we're delighted to be able to invest in their future learning endeavours.”

If you’d like to enhance your school playground please get in touch. One of our Regional Managers would love to help you.