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

School: Warren Primary School

Location: Nottingham

At Warren Primary Academy, quality first teaching has the greatest impact on the children’s learning and the standards that they attain, and is the single most important factor determining pupil’s achievement which lies within the school’s control. Through high quality teaching and learning, Warren Academy support pupils in developing the knowledge, understanding and skills that will enable them to fulfil their intellectual and personal potential and thereby help them to make a mature and critical contribution to society as an adult.

This vision and ethos starts its journey in early years. The academy decided to invest in their outdoor provision as they did not believe their existing facility contributed to delivering their learning gaols.  The existing playground equipment is very old and in some case, not compliant.  There was an old Wetpour surface and some large wooden structures that did not promote imagination, discovery or free flowing play.  The area was also very open to people walking by and there was a desire to make the space private.

The Project

All the existing equipment was removed and fence lines were changed to make the area bigger by another 25%.  New and carefully selected physical climbing equipment was installed to develop identified gross motor skills. This climbing equipment could also be used for wider and more open-ended imaginative play such as den building, weaving and role-play.

The old Wetpour surface was removed and replaced with a brand new artificial grass surface, which has brought an all year round green grass area that requires no maintenance.  Bamboo screening was adding the green steel fencing to make the area private and to create and natural oasis.

In addition, we also included large mark making boards throughout, a natural wooden play hut from the Wild Wood range, a magnetic water wall and water stream.

It is safe to say the area has been transformed into a fantastic little learning oasis.  With the realignment of the fencing and the removal of the large equipment, the area feels much larger which enables the children to free flow more easily between the indoor and outdoor classroom.  The continuous provision has improved greatly and the outdoor provision offers a progression between indoor and outdoor learning.  There is now a purposeful relation between the indoor and outdoor learning.