pentagon play logo

Online Shop Products Transform Bristol Grammar School

The Customer

Bristol Grammar School are committed to providing pupils with the best possible start to their educational journey. The school strongly believes in learning through play and promotes outdoor education. Children learn through planned, purposeful play opportunities and a balance of both adult and child led activities.

3 children are moving the wooden pieces and cogs on the STEAM table. The top of the table is black, with white sides and a natural wooden shelf.

Pupils in early years grow in confidence and independence when spending time outdoors and connecting to the natural environment. BGS utilises this knowledge by creating an outdoor learning area which engages children with fun and educational activities.

With hundreds of positive reviews across the internet, parents and guardians are amazed by the quality of education their children receive and how supportive the staff are towards child development.

Bristol Grammar School know about their strong reputation and are constantly looking for ways to maintain it and/or improve it. One of the areas they wanted to improve was the outdoor learning area.

Their Objectives

Head of Bristol Grammar Infant and Junior school, Heidi Hughes, was looking to improve outdoor provision within the EYFS. She felt like the current set up wasn't offering the children enough opportunities to explore their interests and develop skills at an effective rate.

Heidi wanted to make the outdoor space into a versatile area which could hold a variety of different zones. Each of these zones would focus on a certain aspect of play and improve certain skills.

The wooden STEAM table can be seen close to the camera, with the movable wooden fences seen at the top left. Behind those fences is the Play Builder Engineer set. Above the STEAM table is a tuff tray, with blocks scattered on it. The big wooden fence that goes around the whole playground has the alphabet displayed on it.

"We were looking to improve our outdoor area and we looked at various different providers and Pentagon Play was the most cost effective and we were really, really impressed with the quality of the products that we could find online."

- Heidi Hughes, Head of Infants and Juniors at Bristol Grammar School

From this, it was clear that Heidi wanted freestanding equipment that could be moved with ease. Alongside the freestanding play equipment, she also wanted a fencing option that could be moved around and help mark out areas for certain zones to be placed in.

The Ordering Process

Bristol Grammar School got in contact with Lucy Cooke, a fantastic member of the Digital Sales team, and explained their situation.

Heidi was extremely impressed with the range, quality and cost-effectiveness of the products available in the Pentagon Play Online Shop, but due to budget restraints, Bristol Grammar School were unable to purchase all of their desired equipment at once. As a result, the school was having difficulty on deciding which equipment to purchase.

2 children are playing with a mini xylophone and in an area of the playground. Two playground storage cupboards can be seen saying "Activity Shed" and "Investigation Shed" as the two children hit the Xylophone with the xylophone sticks.

After hearing this difficult situation, Lucy suggested the idea of a two-staged approach. The first stage would focus on acquiring play equipment that the school needed the most, with the second stage focusing on providing the rest of the desired play equipment.

"I can't fault Pentagon Play in their customer service from ordering to delivery. They were amazing."

- Heidi Hughes, Head of Infants and Juniors at Bristol Grammar School

Over the next couple of days, Heidi considered the suggestion and decided to move forward with it! Kate Conway, Assistant Head and Reception Teacher, got involved in the project by Heidi to help generate further ideas.

Kate felt that the online ordering process was straightforward and she received useful advice from the Pentagon Play Customer Services Team with regards to which products would work best within the setting.

The Different Zones

With 5 unique zones being created in one outdoor space, Bristol Grammar School wanted a way to separate each zone. The issue was that the outdoor space had to stay versatile, meaning planted fencing wasn't a desired option.

An artificial grass playground with a tarmac path on the left. A wooden canopy can be seen with 6 children to the right playing in a fenced off area. The fences are on wheels, allowing them to be moved,

Knowing this, Lucy worked with the school to come up with a solution. She suggested our Interactive Fence Panels on Wheels. The addition of these Interactive Fence Panels on Wheels enables staff at Bristol Grammar to create different learning areas. The panels easily lock into place providing extra safety measures helping to creating distinct learning zones or cosy spaces.

Bristol Grammar were amazed by this product and ordered 8 panels to help define certain play zones, allowing them to change the size of the area with ease!

The Messy Play Zone

Bristol Grammar School now have a wonderful messy play zone thanks to our Pioneer Messy Play Package. On our return visit pupils had great fun working together to create their own muddy mashed potato recipes! Children were measuring, transporting, communicating their ideas and writing out menus on the chalkboard panels.

2 Children are using the mud kitchen. The children are filling a plastic jug with leaves and mud and mixing it with a plastic spoon. A chalkboard can be seen on the front, with the word "Mash" written on it,

"I really enjoy coming out for lunchtime because we get to play with the mud kitchens."

- Maddy, Reception

The staff were amazed by how engaged the children became when playing with the messy play equipment, knowing that the pupils would develop a variety of useful skills! Presently, the equipment has become a favourite among the pupils and is usually a go-to for a lot of the kids.

The Sand and Water Play Zone

Water was incorporated into play thanks to the Water Wall and Water Channel Stands. Pupils can now direct their own routes for water to flow down, helping to develop their understanding of the world.

The water wall is shown leaning on a wooden fence, as the plastic tubes can be seen pointing down to a silver tray. Some tubes come out from the wall and lead to another wooden stand. Beside it is the sand table, which has a wooden lid on it and wheels.

As children watch the water flow down the different routes, other children can be seen building sand castles and creating art with the Sand Tables. The Two movable Sand Tables on Wheels allow children to build and manipulate materials whilst developing essential fine motor skills.

As you can imagine, the pupils love playing in this zone! It's important for children to feel fully engaged with a piece of equipment in order to harness the benefits from it, and with Pentagon Play's expert design team, you can be assured that your playground equipment will always engage your pupils.

The Active Play Zones

Pupils have two distinct areas dedicated to physical play. Our largest Play Builder Set – The Engineer Set is a firm favourite. Children are now experts at building trim trails to stretch and challenge their movement and balancing skills. Over time, confidence has developed and pupils have adapted their play to include den building, displaying fantastic communication.

A group of children are walking around on the Play Builder Engineer Set, trying to complete the obstacle course they have created. The set is made up from wooden planks and wooden blocks.

"It's been fantastic to see them really engaged with activities that are developing all of their key skills."

- Kate Conway, Assistant Head and Reception Teacher at Bristol Grammar School

The second physical play zone is home to the largest of our Get Set, Go!  Blocks – The Cheviot Set. Pupils are now experts at moving and handling pieces to create their own adventurous set-ups. Practitioners at Bristol Grammar love the open-ended nature and flexibility that the blocks offer.

Staff commented that the blocks are extremely high-quality, sturdy and secure and that children have learned to move pieces around safely.

The Music Play Zone

An Outdoor Musical Hub has been introduced thanks to a set of Freestanding Chimes and a Mini Xylophone. Pupils are beginning to play basic notes, learning to read, recognise and play music from an early age. The outdoor environment allows children to freely express their musical talents, gaining daily practise.

A little girl is playing with a Xylophone, which is on a wooden stand. The girl is holding two sticks to hit each chime as children behind her and looking through a storage cupboard

The size of the instruments openly encourages collaborative playing helping children within early years to socialise and cooperate.

Teachers have started using the Musical Hub within their curriculum to help children develop confidence, social skills and collaboration skills. It has become a favourite among teachers with how the musical equipment makes lessons a lot more engaging.

The STEAM Play Zone

Budding engineers can head over to the STEAM table to engage in interactive problem solving. Pupils have been discovering how to twist and turn the cogs, and learning how gears connect together. New creations can be accurately measured and children are inspired to create interesting inventions.

3 children are playing with a wooden table, with a black top and wooden cogs attached to it. The children are moving pieces around on the table to make it flow well.

"Absolutely loved the play builder because of the flexibility and the different things that the children can do with it."

- Kate Conway, Assistant Head and Reception Teacher at Bristol Grammar School

The STEAM table also has a storage shelf, allowing the outdoor area to remain clear from hazards whilst also promoting child-led play. Bristol Grammar have been amazed by the instant impact the STEAM table has had with their kids.

The Results

On our return visit to Bristol Grammar is was amazing to see the children independently accessing their new resources and how much they enjoyed their play. Kate told use how the new resources had improved provision in terms of children’s independence and imaginative ideas.

Pupils are now more engaged in purposeful play and are developing key skills both at playtimes and during continuous provision.

A group of children are playing on the Get Set, Go! Blocks. These blocks have wooden sides with an Artificial Grass top and have been set up in 2 straight lines. The children are in two separate groups as they play on them.

Kate mentioned how difficult it can be to find reliable, high-quality resources therefore she was delighted with the standard of our Online Shop range and the guarantees our products come with.

"We felt that Pentagon had all the assurances and guarantees that meant we could be confident in the products and ensured that they would stand the test of our reception and early years team using them."

- Kate Conway, Assistant Head and Reception Teacher at Bristol Grammar School

It was wonderful to work with Bristol Grammar School and we are delighted that they are so impressed with the quality of Pentagon products, would purchase from us again and 100% recommend us to other schools.

"The team were friendly, helpful and really easy to communicate with. Definitely recommend them!"

- Heidi Hughes, Head of Infants and Juniors at Bristol Grammar School