It was a pleasure to work with another primary school from the Oasis Multi-Academy Trust. This time Oasis Academy Byron located in Surrey were looking to develop their outdoor space within Early Years.
The team wanted to create a stimulating learning environment to promote curiosity and provide first-hand experiences.
The new playground needed to be a space that would engage and motivate pupils allowing them to really enjoy their learning experiences.
Play and exploration where at the heart of the school’s vision. Staff wanted children to be able to take part in multi-sensory outdoor activities, to experiment and develop confidence whether working individually or in groups.
Organisation was also a key factor, children needed to be able to interact purposefully with a well-organised and resourced environment.
Working within a small space we thought very carefully throughout the design process about maximising opportunities and pairing areas of learning together.
To brighten the space and create a hard-wearing, free-draining surface we installed a bespoke green and blue wetpour design which is well used during games and imaginative storytelling.
Storage solutions have been fixed with the use of our Small and Medium Self -Selecting Stores. Pupils can now independently choose their resources and items can be neatly placed away when not in use.
Oasis Academy Byron have transformed their Giant Playhouse into a Police Station. Groups of pupils can comfortably take notes on the large chalkboard whilst developing their communication and language skills by playing in role. Sitting next to the Playhouse, a high- quality Easel table extends play by allowing friends to practise mark making in a relaxed setting.
A highly favoured section of the space is the ‘Investigative Zone.’ The scientific Rope and Pulley Materials Mover is a fantastic heavy work activity which aids pupils understanding of forces. Maths objectives are met with a set of Weighing Scales which allow for comparisons and the development of mathematical language. Problem solving and teamwork skills are put to the test as sand is transferred from the Sand Table with Lid to the other pieces in this area.
Water play adds another exciting element to this zone. Pupils have devised their own route for water to travel along by carefully positioning their Water Channel Stands next to a Mini Damming Station before the journey is complete at the Water Table. Watering cans are readily available to send toy sea creatures down the course!
Around the corner from the main playspace, it was wonderful to build a relaxing hub with a real sense of calm and tranquillity. A Timber Canopy makes the perfect sheltered spot whilst a polycarbonate roof creates a light and airy space. A Sensory Seating Circle with coloured panels allows practitioners to create a variety of seating arrangements depending on needs. This outdoor garden setup is an ideal base for sensory activities and promoting mindfulness.
Oasis Academy Byron have utilised every area of their space to create an environment that develops pupils academically and emotionally. Our high-quality pieces spark children’s interest, allowing for independence and sustained shared thinking. It was brilliant to return to the school to witness children’s motivation, excitement and joy for learning.