An Incredible Outdoor Learning Environment For EYFS
Where do we begin with this incredible EYFS Outdoor Redevelopment at Fairfield Road Primary School?
It’s all change for outdoor play and learning for Reception at this Manchester primary school - and wow has it made a difference!
We’ll start at the very beginning, where our playground consultant Megan Booth met with the school’s Reception teacher, Miss Burns, to talk about some exciting ideas they had for creating an outstanding new outdoor facility for their Early Years learners.
Priority areas were identified, we prepared a proposed playground design and drawings were discussed. Fast forward to now, and you wouldn’t recognise the playground: it’s bright, beautiful and enticing. We’re thrilled that the staff and children at Fairfield Road love it already.
Before the installation could begin, we removed and disposed of the old equipment and surfacing that was no longer fit for purpose and prepared the groundworks.
Just the new Playground Surfacing in itself has created a dramatic change to the space, setting the scene for children to really engage with their surroundings.
We used a combination of our colourful Playbond and Wetpour Safety Surfacing, interspersed with our natural-looking Playturf Artificial Grass to create a bespoke playground surface design - one that leads children around a series of winding pathways where they can stop off to play at different zones.
It’s turned the playground into an all-weather space that is easy to maintain and can be used for outdoor fun and super learning all year round, no-matter what the weather decides to throw at it!
Laying the surfacing from scratch also meant that we could incorporate some undulating playground mounds to bring a new dimension and added ‘up and down’ interest to children’s play.
We’ve even including parking bay markings for children to leave their trikes and scooters while they’re otherwise engaged!
Physical Play and Den Making Zone
Physical play takes centre-stage in the middle of the new playground. We installed:
- A Pinnacle Hill Climber (a log and rope climber designed specifically to suit younger children)
- A set of the ever-popular Get Set, Go! Blocks (the Pennine Set)
- A set of 5 Den Making Posts
To provide the children with a variety of climbing challenges and opportunities for developing fine and gross motor movements through den building and physical exploration.
The children love their obstacle course and have built a super den with their Den Making Posts already using colourful blankets, pegs and string - a great place to hide!
The new version of our Bug Hotel has individual pods for children to fill with goodies for mini-beast visitors. It also features a roof garden where they can plant flowers and herbs to attract them.
We installed this, complete with an educational Woodland Minibeast Identification Panel, as the focal point of Fairfield Road’s new Wildlife Zone in a quiet corner of the playground.
Children enter this zone through a beautiful Arbour Archway over which they can grow climbing plants. They can dig in the planting area, relax on one of four Small Moveable Artificial Grass-Topped Seats to enjoy the surroundings and write about or draw what they see at their new Half Easel Table.
Outdoor Classroom And Performance Zone
To break up the space and create a designated outdoor classroom area, and a platform for the children to stage ‘live performances’, we used our half-round timber cladding to make and install two parallel, interactive fences.
The fences feature our fun Bubble Windows for children to peep through. We saw one little boy really enjoying giving them a good wash with water, a paint brush and some bubble soap! They also feature Giant Chalkboards for mark-making.
In the centre of the zone, we built a bespoke bright blue Performance Stage - perfect for role play, singing and dancing and impromptu performances, which are all great for language development and building self confidence!
Outdoor reading is a wonderful activity for teaching children the joy of books and helping them to discover and cultivate a love of reading for themselves.
We created a very special outdoor reading zone for Fairfield Road with our favourite Storytelling Chair, surrounded by four more Small Moveable Artificial Grass-Topped Seats.
A Giant Playhouse with Walls and Chalkboard is the perfect partner in this zone, where children can play imaginary games and act out their favourite stories.
It features den-holes for threading, weaving and hanging, so children can decorate and personalise their play space, or teachers can theme it to suit reading topics.
Messy Play Zone
No Early Years playground is complete without a healthy dose of messy play - and the new playground at Fairfield Road certainly doesn’t disappoint!
Our magnificent Water Wall with Water Play Package provides the children with a plethora of investigative scientific learning opportunities.
They can channel the water as they choose, explore concepts such as floating and sinking, and splash their way through as much sensory play as they can fit into a day.
Our Rope and Pulley Materials Mover works on an enclosed pulley system, encased in clear polycarbonate, so children can test and observe the mechanism working for themselves.
The children at Fairfield Road love to fill the bucket on theirs with all sorts of different materials to transport around their Messy Play Zone, helping them to create some marvellous magical potions.
The addition of a Potting Table is perfect for planting, deconstructing plants and leaves and exploring their properties as well as growing them, playing with soil and of course making mud pies. At Fairfield Road, we were sure to include a solid Mud Box for plentiful supply!
Are you thinking of redeveloping your outdoor learning area? At Pentagon, we have been creating incredible playgrounds for schools and nurseries for over 20 years. You can view our full range of products Here. Please don’t hesitate to Contact Us for more information, or to arrange a free playground consultation with one of our education experts.