An active play space to encourage daily exercise and positive mental well-being!
A huge new all-weather, multi-use playground surfacing scheme and some fantastic climbing features for pupils at New Islington Free School in Manchester....
Working closely with Head Teacher Tabitha Smith to help fulfill her vision for the school’s sports and recreation facilities, our playground consultants, Natalie Richardson and Paul Bayliss, have injected a brand new energy into the outdoor spaces at New Islington Free School in Manchester.
The Components of a long lasting, all-weather outdoor play space
We’ve transformed the main school field, opening up the space as a giant multi-use games area that can be enjoyed in all weathers, and for all kinds of outdoor sports and games.
For a high-end sports facility such as this, in order to ensure maximum durability and longevity for the school, it’s essential to get the base works right. The ‘boring’ bits that are hidden away from view under the surface are what we at Pentagon can get quite animated about - it’s all in the prep work!
We excavated the entire area, disposed of the spoil, and then built up the grounds with our super standard dynamic play MOT sand and grano base layers - rather like building a giant lasagne! This is key to making sure that the whole extent of the area will be safe, sturdy and self-draining with no chance of water-pooling over the years.
Our installers work hard to ensure that the groundworks are as smooth and flat as a pancake, so that the finished result is absolutely perfect. At New Islington the installation ran all the existing gradients, and we took care to ensure there would be no potential for potholes or trip hazards.
Now for the exciting bits that you can actually see!
We installed a combination of our Playturf Artificial Grass, and our FIFA quality Multi-Sport Tufted San-Siro Artificial Grass surfacing, across the entire area.
We marked out football and hockey pitches with our Inlaid 3G Sports Lines. The children at New Islington love their sports options, and are enjoying daily enhanced outdoor PE lessons and after-school games with all the new space they have to hand.
It’s worth its weight in gold as a social hub at New Islington too - a great environment for groups of children to get together and enjoy themselves through physical activity, which is hugely important for their mental health and wellbeing.
An Inclusive Outdoor Learning Space
Over on the opposite side of the school building, we installed a long strip of Playturf Deluxe Artificial Grass (complete with Dynamic Play Baseworks of course!) running along the school’s boundary fence at the edge of the existing playground.
The school wanted to make full use of this outer section of the playground that was going to waste for much of the year, as the ground was of unsuitable quality for play.
By installing our Artificial Grass, we were able to transform this into a retained, beautifully tactile all-weather space that can now be accessed and enjoyed all year round.
The Artificial Grass itself is soft and clean for children to sit on. We added a set of Perch Benches to one end overlooking the playground, to create an inclusive space for groups of children to sit together and enjoy targeted outdoor learning, as well as a space to relax at break times.
A Mega Trim Trail Challenge
To keep children active and using their imaginations at play times - and having lots of fun stretching their bodies and developing their skills in all manner of ways - we installed a mega Trim Trail Adventure challenge onto the new strip of Artificial Grass.
Our Trim Trails are brilliant resources for maximising available space - they can be laid in any direction to fit a school’s existing layout, and with a huge choice of challenge options to suit their pupils’ needs.
We built a bespoke Trim Trail Adventure for New Islington, featuring the following combination of physical challenges:
- A Single-Sided Timber Climbing Wall
- A Set of 6 Climbing Poles
- A Walk and Stretch
- A Tightrope Bridge
- 2 Large Stepping Logs
- A Swinging Log Traverse
- A Mini Balance Beam
- A Net Traverse
- A Log Weaver
- 20 Truck Tyres
New Islington Free School has so much variety to offer pupils with their new outdoor facilities, both in fulfilling the requirements of the curriculum and as part of their ‘Wraparound Club’ before and after-school care. It really is great to see the children getting outdoors, getting active and enjoying themselves through their learning once again.
Are you thinking about new outdoor learning and sport options for your school? We can help! You can find out more about our work with schools and nurseries across the UK, and view our full range of Outdoor Learning, Play and Sports Products Here.
Please do Contact Us to arrange a free, no-obligation consultation with one of our experts.