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An Outstanding Early Years Environment for Oasis Academy Byron

The Customer

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.

two children kneel on the easel table

Their Objectives

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.

a shot of the key figures of this project

Our Approach

Working within a small space we thought very carefully throughout the design process about maximising opportunities and pairing areas of learning together.

As you enter the outdoor environment a Mud Kitchen and Construction Table are all set to help children to learn about different materials whether making recipes or designing models.

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.

children play in the sand table and in the background, children fill the rope and pulley materials mover

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.

a little girl fills the weighing scales with sand

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.

a little girl stands and pours water down the water channels onto the damming station

The Results

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.

children play in the play house