Heasandford Primary School, Burnley first contacted ESP Play in January 2019, they had a clear vision of what they wanted to achieve but needed some help to develop the EYFS outdoor space.
School: Heasandford Primary School
Location: Williams Road, Burnley, Lancashire
Heasandford Primary School is one of the largest primary schools in the county. The school is made up of 21 classes, ranging from the Foundation Stage Class up to Year 6. There are four departments within the school – The Early Years Foundation Stage, Key Stage 1, Lower Key Stage 2 and Upper Key Stage 2. The schools size enables them to hold a central position within the local community and allows them to provide a stimulating and exciting environment in which children can learn and grow.
The school’s mission is to unlock the potential in every child so that they are happy, healthy and will achieve their very best to be fully prepared for the next stage of their journey. Through their seven year journey the children will learn to become independent, confident, responsible, resilient, enthusiastic, adventurous and aspirational individuals.
In January 2019, Heasandford Primary School contacted ESP Play because they had just won a lottery grant and wanted to prioritise the development of their outdoor areas starting with the EYFS area.
The EYFS Lead had put together an ideas board which gave us a clear vision of what the school wanted and it really helped us to turn their initial dream into a reality. Surfacing was the focus of the project because the current surface was uneven with drainage issues, but they also wanted to add some equipment too whilst keeping the parent’s entrance clear. The area would be used by 90 children aged 4-5 years old and the school wanted the project completed during the Easter half term.
The project began with two meetings at the school; the first to discuss the initial vision for the area and the second to discuss the initial design proposal. ESP Play amended the initial design which was then approved by the school. The ESP Play installation team began work on the area by building the bespoke corner role play hut, they removed and replaced the existing bark pit, attached the large chalk board to the wall, cemented the magnetic water wall into the ground and built the new storage sheds, workbench and planter benches. The team continued by laying the artificial grass surface, sensory path and rubber mulch. They completed the project by adding the freestanding picnic tables, tray stands and open-ended climbing blocks.
The overall design embodied the school’s original vision, the area was transformed from a dull, tired space to an inviting and adaptable one. This was just the beginning of an exciting partnership with the school, they were so happy with the completed project and service they received throughout the process that they invited ESP Play back to develop all of the remaining playgrounds at the school. (see below)
If you are considering a development at your school, please don’t hesitate to contact us, we would love to hear from you.
KS1 Playground Project
Following the success of our first partnership, Heasandford School invited ESP Play back to design their KS1 Playground. The area would be used by 180 children aged 5-7 years old and they wanted the area completed before the children returned in September.
The theme throughout the school was to encourage the children to read and so they wanted to incorporate this outside too, they were keen to create an engaging space for the children. The main goal for this area was to add some climbing equipment and markings in order to increase the daily physical activity within the playground.
The installation team installed a challenging trim trail that would help improve gross motor skills, a story telling area and reading bench to encourage reading, a large shelter, a forest hut for imaginative play, interchangeable music panels, wall mounted target boards, floor markings that enable outdoor lessons including active maths and sports and some artificial grass surfacing.
The area is brighter, more colourful and more engaging. The children now have a range of climbing equipment to use and more opportunities to be active. The quality of both the products and the installation is clear to see in the photos. Once we finished this playground it was straight onto the remaining two!
Year’s 3 & 4 and Year’s 5 & 6 Playgrounds
The final part of the outdoor transformation was the Year’s 3 & 4 and 5 & 6 playgrounds. Again, the school wanted to add climbing equipment into each space along with some markings to increase physical activity within the whole school.
In the Year’s 3 & 4 playground we installed our Tangled Huntsman which provides a very challenging climb, the surface underneath was artificial grass which added some nature to the area. We also installed a daily mile track marking to encourage the daily walk, some wall mounted target boards to improve aim, a dry wipe board for mark making and two of the top selling items from our Wild Wood range; The Hive for extra shade and seating and the Raised Woodland Hut.
In the Years 5 & 6 playground we installed a 6 column Freeflow unit which is totally unique to ESP Play, it provides another challenging climb whilst allowing more children to play on it at one time. Again, the surface we installed underneath was artificial grass because it added colour and an element of nature to the existing tarmac space. We also installed an outdoor table tennis table to provide the children with another opportunity to be active and to practice a new sport. To complete the area, we installed a multi-court marking that can be used to play Football, Netball and Basketball along with our famous five Multi-Skill markings that were designed to increase activity during break and lunch times. The markings come with CPD training for staff and pupils.
Following the completion of the project and wanting to support the local school, our Head of CPD Neil, continued to work with the school, once a week for a year, using the markings to help keep the children active throughout the pandemic.