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Birchfield Primary School’s Active Play Project

The Customer

Not one but two tremendous new Trim Trails for the lucky pupils at Birchfield Primary School in Leeds!

Headteacher Samantha Hirst wanted to improve the school’s provision for active play, providing pupils with more varied and creative ways to enjoy getting active and keeping fit at break and lunchtimes. So, our Outdoor Learning Consultant Sam Shaw went to visit Samantha at Birchfield Primary, to discuss ideas and look at how best to achieve this goal.

children played on the trim trail on the tarmacced playground with artificial grass under the trail

The Objectives

The existing playground at Birchfield boasted lots of space for the children to use, surrounded by fabulous green fields too - but there wasn’t so much inspiration in the way of permanent play and climbing equipment to get the children thinking and moving in different ways.

Why Did Birchfield Primary Choose our Trim Trails?

the key figures for the project

Samantha was keen to explore options for a Trim Trail - or two!

A Trim Trail is one of the best pieces of outdoor play equipment for versatility in any school playground. Offering children a wide variety of excellent opportunities for physical development through play, a Trim Trail can be well used to keep children engaged and active, promoting positive play and social interactions across the key stages, and providing an excellent support resource for PE lessons.

Our Approach

We introduced Samatha to our wide and wonderful range of Trim Trails options. With the opportunity to choose select pieces to create bespoke Trim Trail combinations, we were able to help Samantha to create two unique Trim Trails for Birchfield Primary School that would suit the children’s specific needs and differing levels of ability.

a young girl crossed the rope balance traverse on the trim trail

Each one is designed to provide the children of Birchfield Primary with a variety of mental challenges - plotting how to get across the course safely - along with countless physical challenges. They require movements that will improve balance and core stability - stepping, weaving and swaying; upper and lower body strength - reaching, lifting, pushing and pulling against their own body weight; and both gross and fine motor skill development with plenty of step, stretch,  grab and grasp actions. And as always -  they’re designed for endless good fun in the playground!

The Lower Playground Development

In the lower playground, the new Trim Trail has become a central feature that the children love to gather around. It breaks up the concrete space perfectly and provides a great facility for the children to get moving, exploring more varied movement skills, and improving their motor and sensory development. It features our:

Zigzag Log Bridge Crossing, paired with

A Step Rung Traverse (low Level),

A set of Disc Poles, and

A Rickety Balance Bridge Crossing

This Trim Trail offers climbing options at varied heights, with step up and step down features for improving balance and controlled movement. We installed this Trim Trail with careful consideration for the size of the gap between each trail item, specifically to encourage children to jump and stretch between each one. This requires them to plan and concentrate as they move, working on their balance, coordination, attention and climbing confidence as they’re able to take risks in a safe environment.

four children stand on the trail and smile at the camera

The Upper Playground Development

We installed the second Trim Trail to run alongside the school field on the upper playground. It’s a winning combination for imaginative and creative physical play, as well as helping children to improve their strength and core stability! It’s a real adventure challenge - using it requires all different parts of the body to work together, supporting children in developing their vestibular and proprioceptive systems, and offering a great cardiovascular workout in the process!

This one features:

children queue to try the trim trail

The Results

Pretend play is a popular pastime with our Trim Trails, and it’s fantastic to see that the children at Birchfield Primary are having fun at break times, being creative and using their imaginations as they make up games to play together. Whether they’re pretending to swing through a jungle or they’re crossing a narrow ravine, who knows where it will take them!

We installed a layer of our much-loved soft but sturdy Playturf Artificial Grass under both Trim Trails, to create a safe all-weather landing, and to ensure that the children can enjoy their outdoor activities all throughout the year. The natural-looking finish provides a tactile space for open-ended use, as the children like to run, jump and skip along it as they navigate their way around the Trim Trails, choosing where they want to start and finish.

children build their skills on the trim trail

The new additions have hugely enhanced the active outdoor play provision at Birchfield Primary School - one go and the children can’t wait to run as fast as they can to the other end, ready to go again!

Are you interested in investing in a Trim Trail? Would you like to talk to us about active play opportunities in your school playground? We’re the UK’s Number 1 Playground Provider, and we can help!

If you would like to focus on specific challenges, or specific areas of the curriculum for development, we can help you to select the best challenge pieces with which to build your Trim Trail - or you can choose from our carefully considered pre-designed range of Trim Trails. View our full range of Trim Trail products and please do Contact Us for a free, no-obligation consultation with one of our expert playground consultants.