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Cherry Tree Hill Primary's EYFS Play Space

A truly wonderful EYFS playground environment


We are thrilled to have installed such an incredible EYFS playground environment at Cherry Tree Hill Primary School in Derby.

Our Director and Founder, Andy Snell, worked with the school to take on the challenge of transforming an inaccessible outdoor space, to create an area that would improve learning outcomes for their EYFS children across the board.

The existing outdoor space at Cherry Tree Hill had limited use, because it was predominantly covered with natural grass which could only be used for limited periods during the year.

Staff did their very best to make the most of the small outdoor space that was available, but it was difficult for them to take their pupils outdoors to learn and to exercise as often they wanted to.

Now that their playground has been completely redeveloped, the children are embracing the additional space to be active.

Teachers have found that they can take much more of the curriculum outside, with so many more opportunities for learning through super new resources to experiment and explore with.

They link the space to learning topics and the stories they are reading. It’s bright, engaging and interactive, a true outdoor learning environment to bring the curriculum to life.

Plenty of opportunities for active free play


eyfs playground equipment

The first challenge was to replace the old turf with all weather artificial grass surfacing to create a free play active zone.

Our Artificial Grass Playturf is ideal for schools, rigorously tested to ensure durability even beyond FIFA standards. It is self draining and doesn’t need the maintenance that natural grass requires, so it’s mud-free, clean and safe to use, and looks beautiful all year round.

This has made a huge difference to the children at Cherry Tree Hill as they now have much more space to run around and play freely and safely every day.

Incorporated into this area is an intriguing Climb Through Tunnel with Ramp Over, also covered in artificial grass to complement the landscape, and a challenging Infant Trail, an essential feature frame for physical development which leads the children to use their bodies in different ways to travel across it.

early years outdoor learning environment

View our huge active play equipment range here.

Resources that promote writing, language and communication


outdoor school stage

Increased opportunities for the children to do lots of outdoor mark-making for writing skills, and role play to practice and improve vocabulary, language and communication, were some of the key requirements in Cherry Tree Hill Primary’s brief. So we did the following:

  • We installed our popular Giant Play House, equipped with artificial grass covered seats and a giant chalkboard for mark making, so that children can participate in all sorts of role play games. They use it as a shop, post office, or whatever else they want it to be on any given day!
  • Added to this, a set of Den Posts with holes at different heights for threading ropes and tarpaulin are particularly adaptable for learning in many different ways. They allow the children to be creative and work together to build their own dens. They form plans together and work together to see plans through, communicating and problem solving along the way.
  • Budding performers are now taking centre stage on Cherry Tree Hill’s fabulous bespoke Outdoor Performance Stage. It’s bold and bright with a yellow star design, and the viewing benches allow children to perform to friends, teachers and parents to develop their spoken language and self confidence. They love taking percussion instruments outside and making music on the stage too, and the Chalkboard and Whiteboard backdrops offer more mark making opportunities as children set the scene for their performance.
  • We installed our magical wooden Story Telling Chair, with Perch Benches facing and movable artificial grass topped seats, for adult and child led outdoor reading and discussion. Behind the Story Telling Chair we included a Chalkboard and Whiteboard on posts, for teachers to write out demonstrations and for children to come and have a go at writing for themselves. It’s all about being creative with linguistics and the children delight in doing this outdoors.

den making postsstory telling chair

You can view our amazing selection of imaginative and creative products here.

Messy, investigative play with nature and understanding of the world


Getting messy is not something that the pupils at Cherry Tree Hill are afraid of! We went to visit them one playtime to see how they were getting on with their new playground, and they were knee deep into making mud pies and mud ice cream at their new Mud Kitchen, and having a wonderful time with it!

mud kitchen eyfs

They’ve got a Rope and Pulley System to transfer mud from their Quarry and Mud Box across to the Mud Kitchen, and teachers say they love the role play element of this.

They’ve got a Damming Station and are investigating different ways of influencing water flow. A Water Table ensures a ready supply of water, from which children fill different vessels and transfer water around the stations.

Our Tuff Spot Table allows them to collect and display natural resources to use in conjunction with the equipment, such as rocks, pebbles and leaves.

rope and pulley system eyfs

Installing all of this equipment in a designated zone has created an entire hands on, experimental learning area. It’s perfect for encouraging children to explore science and the natural world, opportunities for trial and error, working together for more successful outcomes and finding their own solutions to problems. And all of this through active, physical, first hand learning

You can view our excellent range of messy play equipment here.

Are you looking to work with a trusted provider on an upcoming playground project? We're not only experts in EYFS but also KS1, KS2 and SEN. If you'd like to get in touch, complete our Online Form and we will contact you to arrange a free consultation. Alternately, you can call 01625 890 330 (North Office) or 0117 379 0899 (South Office).