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Frenchay Primary School Playground Fun!

A Fresh Start for the Fantastic, Forward-Thinking

Frenchay Church of England Primary School

Frenchay Church of England Primary School in Bristol had ambitious plans for a state-of-the-art, energy-efficient school with many sustainable elements that would benefit future generations.

Built on the grounds of the former Frenchay Hospital, the new two-story, Passivhaus building can accommodate 420 pupils and has a range of eco-efficient features ensuring low carbon impact on the environment.

Features such as high levels of insulation, triple glazing, low energy LED lighting, solar panels and an air source heat pump allow the school to make a real difference to the climate crisis. 

An Inspiring School Building Deserves a Fantastic Outdoor Space!

It was wonderful to work with Headteacher, Katherine Marks when developing the school’s outdoor space. Plans quickly came to fruition and pupils were provided with a range of exciting learning opportunities.

An amazing school building needs a magnificent outdoor structure and our Langley Play Castle has proven to be extremely popular.

Outdoor playground castle

Outdoor, active play is now an everyday occurrence as young Kings and Queens scale the climbing wall, peer through the bubble windows and glide down the fireman’s pole. Language skills have developed as pupils engage in imaginative games and storytelling, making use of the different levels of this unique piece.

An artificial grass Playturf with a shock pad layer has been installed in the area directly underneath the castle to create a soft surface with a natural feel. Pupils are free to take safe risks, knowing that landings will be cushioned.

Interesting Spaces for EYFS Pupils

EYFS pupils now have their very own roadway for vehicle play. The realistic track includes two roundabouts, two zebra crossings and numbered parking bays to reinforce road safety and link to real-life scenarios.

A set of Get Set, Go! Blocks – The Mendips Set can be positioned on the track, creating a range of challenges to improve gross motor skills. Pupils enjoy configuring their own courses and make full use of the mark-making panels on the side of the blocks to support their thinking and enhance games.

Get set go blocks in the playground

Around the corner from the track, directly outside the EYFS classrooms sits our Harter Fell Climber. This fantastic, triangular climber offers several routes and crossing points for children to build core stability and lower body strength. An area of Artificial Grass Surfacing has again been installed directly over the tarmac to provide pupils with a comfortable spot for playing games and building dens.

Several key products were selected by Early Years practitioners at Frenchay Primary to develop continuous provisions within their outdoor space.

small climbing frame for children and playgrounds

A Mud Kitchen and a Mud Box allow children to learn about materials whilst socialising and developing their use of language. Sand and Water play are essential elements for sensory play in Early Years. A Water Wall with Damming Package and a Large Covered Sand Box allow children to mix materials and observe and experiment when stopping water flow.

Sand and water play can be calming and therapeutic for pupils whilst also developing fine motor skills and manual dexterity.

Cross-Curricular Thermoplastic Playground Markings

A selection of different playground markings have been dotted across the outdoor development.

Phase 2 ‘Phonic Pond’ allows children to jump onto selected sounds or devise their own phonic-based games using beanbags. An Active Trail encourages children to take on different challenges developing, coordination and flexibility which is perfect for a five-minute outdoor brain break.

children playing on the playground markings in their play space

A 1-100 Number Grid is a great tool for developing place value or speedy knowledge of multiplication tables. 4 -Way Hopscotch allows many pupils to take part in this classic playground game adding an element of competition and a 12-hour Clock Face can be used with chalk to practically embed telling the time – an area of maths which can be difficult for children to grasp.

Let’s Put on a Show!

Budding actors at Frenchay now have their very own decked stage to practise lines on and bust out their best moves! Backdrops or scripts can be created on the large chalkboards situated at the back of the stage. Pupils love having a special, designated performance space to project their voices, develop their creativity and let their confidence shine.

A Storytelling Chair is the perfect place to bond as a class through a shared love of stories. Various games and dramatic techniques can be practised using the Giant Whiteboard on Posts to support mark-making.

outdoor performance stage for playgrounds

It was a privilege to work with such an inspiring and innovative school. The vast outdoor grounds are now carefully structured to meet children’s needs, provide challenges and encourage active play within nature. 

The future is indeed looking happy and bright for the many generations of Frenchay pupils that will benefit from this modern, spacious and eco-friendly new build.

If you would like to redevelop your outdoor play space just like Frenchay Primary School, then look no further than Pentagon Play. Start your Journey with us here today!