An Innovative, Active and Imaginative Outdoor Play Development for A Passionate School
Following the success of the first phase of our outdoor learning and active play project with Smithdown Primary School in Liverpool, we were delighted to return to the school for the next exciting phase!
As before, Headteacher Phil Horne had something rather special in mind, and as always, we were ready for the challenge…
Phil asked us to create a new physical development and role play area for the KS2 pupils at Smithdown.
Alongside improvements to the existing ‘edible garden,’ the school were looking for a stunning feature piece that would not only present an energetic, physical challenge, but one that would also really motivate and inspire the children to use their imaginations during playtimes.
We had a large space among the trees to work with, and it was important that we could capitalise on this and build something that would, at the very least, accommodate a whole class playing together.
Our playground consultant, Ian Wood, worked closely with Phil throughout the entire project to make sure it was seamless and that, despite the large scale scope of the works over each phase, it would never interrupt the children’s learning or prevent them from playing outdoors while the different stages were underway.
With Ian overseeing everything, he was able to make sure that we could achieve all that Phil and the staff at Smithdown had envisaged from the start.
An Incredible Bespoke Playground Treehouse
The new Treehouse at Smithdown Primary stands tall and proud and ready for adventures!
We designed this bespoke Treetop Tower to twist and turn among the existing trees in the Smithdown playground, bringing them into the feature and within reaching distance of inquisitive hands.
The Treehouse is beautifully crafted from our sustainably sourced play-grade, pressure-treated timber, to provide an adventure zone that will offer hours of energetic and imaginative play.
Boasting 4 large raised decks and 3 smaller decks, each connected by bridges and all surrounded by full balustrades, the Treehouse leads the children on an exciting journey from one end to another.
There is ample space for large groups to play together at any given time - it’s a wonderful social hub where children can interact, form positive relationships and develop their communication, language and social skills.
Exploring their way around the Treehouse, there are multiple entry and exit points in the form of a vertical ladder, fun fireman’s pole, scaling nets and climbing ramps - all allowing flexible play and helping to develop the children’s overall physical strength, gross and fine motor control and coordination, balance and core stability.
It’s a hugely entertaining and encouraging way for the children to build their climbing confidence, and learn how to overcome challenges through safe risk taking.
We resurfaced the area around and underneath the Treehouse with our beautifully tactile and durable Playturf Artificial Grass to provide a soft landing, and a clean, comfortable all-weather surface to support role play and den building underneath the Treehouse at any time of the year.
A Magical Forest Reading Zone
Behind Smithdown’s ‘edible garden,’ tucked away behind the trees, was the perfect spot for a secret Lookout Cabin!
After clearing out all the old shale stone, weeds and debris and repairing the groundworks, we were left with a fantastic space to install this magical playhouse that doubles up as the perfect outdoor reading den for the children.
We resurfaced with our impact-absorbing Playbond to provide a lovely natural -looking surface for the children to run around on - again an all-weather surface that will keep the area clean and well-drained so that the children can enjoy it at all times.
It’s low-maintenance and really helps to maximise the available space.
Next to the Lookout Cabin we built a fabulous Hexagonal Gazebo with a red shingle roof, to provide further shelter during outdoor learning activities, and another social hub for the children to meet and play together.
Playground Markings for Exercise and Well-Being
The children at Smithdown Primary playground already had the benefit of a huge tarmac playground for sports, but there was nothing there to inspire them.
What it really needed was some proper Playground Markings to make it a fully-functional and practical space that would support outdoor sporting activities and team games across the PE curriculum.
We designed and installed bespoke thermoplastic markings for Smithdown to mark out a full Netball court, a four-lane 30m sprint track with clearly-visible white edges, and a two-lane running track with bright yellow edges.
This has completely transformed the space which now stands out as the perfect place for outdoor PE lessons and after-school sporting activities.
Along the back wall facing this super new sporting zone, we installed a low-level run of timber edging topped with our soft Artificial Grass, to create a bespoke seating area.
With a viewing platform for spectators to cheer on their friends too, now there’s no stopping them!
Is your outdoor learning environment ready for a change? We can help! We are the UK’s Number 1 School Playground Specialist - you can view our full range of School Playground Equipment Here. Please do Contact Us Here for more information.
Explore all of the playground projects completed for primary schools and nurseries in Liverpool on our dedicated Liverpool Playground Projects Page Here.
Take a closer look at the first phase of Smithdown Primary School's Active Play Project Here.