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An Impressive Forest Circuit Arrives at Wellfield Junior School

Pentagon Play have become go-to experts within the active play industry, having over 25 years of experience installing and designing a wide variety of playground equipment.

As times have moved forward and children find themselves sat in front of TVs and playing computer games, we know how important it is to make an inviting active play area to encourage children to be active.

a picture showing the Top Right View of the Grizedale Forest Circuit, taken by a drone

If your a school and have noticed this problem, then read on to see how Pentagon Play can help!

Active Play Area

Active play areas provide children with a way to express themselves through a physical activity, whilst aiming to develop other areas of a child (like social, communication, cognitive and emotional skills).

Throughout most of the day, children are cooped up inside and are desperate for play time. By providing an exciting play area where a child can use all of this pent up energy is a great way to keep children engaged during lesson time and active during play time.

Schools across the UK know how important active play is to a child and parents are more desperate than ever to keep their kids active outside, instead of playing computer games inside.

A picture showing the Top Left View of the Grizedale Forest Circuit, taken from a drone.

Pentagon Play have helped thousands of schools promote healthy play times by designing and installing fantastic active play equipment and areas.

When Wellfield Junior School made contact with us and explained their situation to us, we knew that we could provide the help and support they needed to bring their active play area to life! Continue reading to see how we helped.

The Customer

Wellfield Junior School, located in Greater Manchester, strongly believe in the importance of physical activity. The school strives to create a stimulating, enjoyable and appropriately challenging outdoor learning environment where children can participate as individuals, in pairs or take part in group activities.

Parents have great opinions on the school, believing that their children are offered engaging lessons and fantastic play areas to burn their energy and stay active on.

A picture showing a little girl on the Grizedale Forest Circuit, as she stands on the log swings section.

Children say that the school has a sense of community, with children from all backgrounds and abilities being included during playtime and lessons. No child is every excluded and it's clear to see how strong this community feeling is throughout the school.

Their Objectives

Wellfield Junior School wanted to create a fresh and exciting active challenge that would appeal to a wide age range of pupils. The new equipment needed to encourage collaboration and problem solving, helping pupils to build physical competence and confidence, team work and social skills.

Due to this desire of focusing on active play, Wellfield also wanted to create a fun and safe play area where children would be protected from any falls or trips.

A girl climbing through the rope tunnel of the Grizedale Forest Circuit. The photo is taken from inside the tunnel, showing the child walking towards the camera.

The space needed to stand out from the environment and encourage children to escape into their imagination. Wellfield Junior School knew that to get children involved and playing, they would have to make the environment appealing and contrast the area around it.

Our Approach

Expert Playground Consultant, Tom Hollingworth was keen to meet with headteacher, Steven Worrall to explain the many benefits that the high quality, timber frame ‘Great Grizedale’ could offer pupils.

Steven was excited to implement this play equipment on the Wallfield Junior School playground and get the children engaged with active play.

Artificial Grass Surfacing

Once plans were in place a large area of Artificial Grass Surfacing was installed directly onto the tarmac ground. Artificial Grass brightens the space with a nice green colour and provides a soft, safe, durable outdoor carpet that is soft for children's feet.

Our synthetic grass has gone through FIFA's rigorous durability tests and passed with flying colours, making it a superb surface type for any sporting activities and games.

A picture showing the Grizedale Forest Circuit from above. Underneath the forest circuit is a patch of artificial grass, adding a natural look to the area and making it contrast from the tarmac.

Not only is it FIFA approved, but our artificial grass is designed to drain well. It's important that artificial grass has good drainage as it will make it long lasting, whilst keeping the surface accessible during harsh weather conditions.

Artificial grass is a great way to make play areas feel more natural and help kids escape into exciting new worlds. It can also help play equipment, such as climbing frames, stand out from the environment and attract more kids to it.

A layer of shockpad tiles underneath the synthetic grass provides extra safety and support as children run, leap and land. With climbing frames, it's always a good idea to have safety surfacing on the ground to give kids a soft landing if they are to slip or fall.

The Grizedale Forest Circuit

The Grizedale Forest Circuit is a rather impressive looking and durable structure with a host of different obstacles to explore! There are climbing walls, a net tunnel, a tightrope, log bridges, swinging log pieces and so much more, making it perfect for an active play area and for risk play.

There really is an obstacle that will appeal to all pupils depending on ability and confidence levels. The sheer size of the piece allows large groups of children to play together, learning to cooperate, help and encourage each other whilst building resilience.

A picture showing a child walking in the middle of the Grizedale Forest Circuit. The girl is grabbing onto a support beam as she crosses a balance beam.

On our return visit pupils at Wellfield School confidently tackled the different obstacles and levels, creating their own routes and crossing and traversing with ease. The Grizedale works a range of body parts whether climbing, balancing, travelling or gripping support ropes.

New and interesting imaginative games have been devised pupils could be scaling a mountain or trying not to step into the choppy seas below, making active play session ore fun and engaging.

The new climber encourages pupils to take part in daily outdoor activity and free play. This can have a positive effect on children’s mental health leading to improved concentration, focus and ability to learn. Play areas that promote fun and activity always tend to be a hit.

This picture shows children climbing all over the Grizedale Forest Circuit. 4 children are in focus and are trying to cross the balance beam, where a group of other children are out of focus but are trying to climbing across the ladder bridge.

With active play being a popular form of playing, climbing frames (like the Grizedale Forest Circuit) are fantastic choices for creating popular play areas amongst children.

The Results

It was fantastic to see happy, confident pupils forming physical habits that will produce a lifelong commitment to a healthy lifestyle. The Grizedale Forest Circuit is enjoyed by all and used daily with extremely positive feedback from pupils. 

With the artificial grass surface, safety concerns have been addressed as it will protect kids from any slips and trips and provide a softer landing compared to concrete!

A picture of the Grizedale Forest Circuit from the bottom left. The photo shows the size of the climbing frame and was taken by a drone.

The climber is certainly exciting and exhilarating and can help to relieve stress and anxiety. Pupils feel good, refreshed and ready to apply the schools core values: Care, Respect, Learn and Succeed.