Bringing New Energy to Outdoor Learning and Playtimes...
It’s all about getting active for the children at St Giles’ and St George’s CE Academy in Newcastle, Staffordshire! Their incredible new outdoor facility offers not just one, but two, of our mega MUGAs as well as an all-singing outdoor gym area, all-weather canopies and a fabulous “Imagination Station” for creative active play.
They’ve been enjoying Fitness Fridays on their new equipment and we loved seeing the children feature on Bee Active TV practising their throwing and catching skills in the MUGA!
As well as bringing new energy to outdoor learning and playtimes, the new outdoor spaces have played host to the super St Giles’ and St George’s Summer Clubs and the MUGAs have proved to be an ideal venue for Bikeability practice.
Our playground consultant Daniel Young worked with headteacher Catherine Pointon and the academies’ bursar Michelle Eldon to help them bring their exciting plans for the school to life.
Improving their sports and PE facilities was a top priority and they were keen for children to be able to spend more time being active outdoors all year round, making the most of the outdoor space available.
New MUGAs to satisfy sporting demands
Our Multi-Use Games Areas satisfy a wide range of sporting demands and having two brand new MUGAs has completely reinvented the way pupils at St Giles’ and St George’s can enjoy different sports and develop their skills, both physically and theoretically, over the course of the school year.
We installed one MUGA onto the tarmac playground and one further out on the school field - both offering large, all-weather sporting facilities for large groups of children. We laid our sports specification baseworks followed by our Artificial Grass surfacing system, so that drainage would no longer be an issue.
This means that the MUGAs are very easy to maintain and can be used throughout the year and in all weathers, without becoming dirty and waterlogged.
Twin mesh fencing keeps both MUGAs secure and a chicane entrance system allows easy access - ideal for an open one-way entry/exit system with no fear of losing the ball across the playground!
We applied different inlaid Sports Lines onto each MUGA - a netball court on the playground and a football pitch on the field - to keep everyone happy! With Goal Ends and Adjustable Basketball Posts on each, there’s no end of ball-gaming fun to be had!
Inspiring daily exercise with an Outdoor Gym
When they’re not playing ball games on the MUGA, the children are busy developing those muscles, gross motor skills and core strength in their new Outdoor Gym! It features:
- 1 Hip Twister
- 2 Cardio Combis
- 1 Seated Leg Press
- 1 Double Cross Country Skier, and
- 1 Row and Ride
Our Playturf Deluxe Artificial Grass around the equipment, with a reinforced fleece backing and densely packed monofilament yarns, is robust yet soft to the touch - perfect for floor work. We blended our saferturf design into the surfacing with a bold red ACHIEVE sign to spur them on!
Taking imaginative play games to a new level
We loved designing this brilliant Twin Imagination Station for St Giles’ and George’s. It’s an active and imaginative play zone all rolled in together!
Two hexagonal platforms stand between an open crossing-bridge. There are chalkboards and whiteboards built in for creative mark-making and secured benches for a space to sit, rest and read, and chat together.
Den-making posts at the corner of each platform feature holes for threading and weaving and integrated porthole windows are fun to peep through!
Children can access the Imagination Station using the two ramps or by climbing up onto the bridge - it’s an inclusive space offering play at different heights and endless opportunities for the children to use their imaginations and expand their ideas for play.
We covered the platforms, bridge and ramps with our artificial grass to provide interesting and different sensory experiences for the children - it’s soft enough to sit on yet sturdy enough to withstand herds of running feet!
We used Artificial Grass on the ground around the Imagination Station too, for safety and to keep the area clean for all-weather use. We incorporated a saferturf design here in blue with the word BELIEVE to encourage the children in their play.
Undercover Outdoor Learning
Two huge Timber Classroom Canopies aligned to the school building have created a magnificent free-flow space for outdoor learning at St Giles’ and St George’s. There’s so much more space for everyone to move around, with daily opportunities to learn outdoors no matter what the weather is doing.
They’re bright and airy yet sheltered from the elements - offering children the opportunity to observe and learn from the changing seasons and weather conditions as part of their outdoor learning experience. They have been enjoying messy play, den building and outdoor numeracy and literacy here and that’s just for starters!
Each Canopy offers open access straight onto the playground and makes the transition from indoor to outdoor learning environments super easy for the staff to manage.
Real-World Roadway Zone
For younger children at St Giles’ and St George’s, we laid an adventurous new bespoke Real-World Roadway, featuring two large, green Playturf “islands” with a winding roadway loop around them.
We used our fun Playground Markings and themed props, including Zebra Crossings, Traffic Lights, a Roundabout Sign, School Crossing, Stop, Go and Give Way Signs, No Entry and Speed Limit Signs to make the space as true to life as possible.
It’s a perfect space for learning about road safety as well as some great role play, physical development and burning off energy - we loved seeing the children flying around the course on their scooters!
A Space For Role Play Games and Outdoor Reading
In another area of the playground, we created a calmer zone for imaginative play games. In the space a timber Wigwam, Hobbit House and Perch Benches are very attractive features for the creative children!
The children at St Giles’ and St George’s Academy love using these resources to read, socialise with friends and take their imaginative games to another dimension.
Providing children with an open-ended space for play, the Hobbit House is an ideal playground resource. Little hobbits have to crouch down to enter their new house, transporting themselves to an exciting, creative world full of fairy tales and mystical monsters.
For those who want to participate in quieter activities, the perch benches and wigwam allow children to sink their teeth into a good book – hiding away in the wigwam or reading out loud to others sat on the benches around.
We used artificial grass in the space to ensure it can be used in all weathers and provide further soft and comfortable seating in the space. We incorporated a Saferturf design here in with the word ASPIRE to inspire children in their play.
Does your school or nursery playground need a new lease of life? We can help you!
We are the UK’s Number 1 School Playground Specialist and we are very much open - we have developed new ways to conduct playground consultations safely in these difficult times. Please do Contact Us Here for more information.
If you would like to view more examples of our playground projects in Staffordshire, visit our Staffordshire page here.