The School Council chose their favourite playground equipment
Our Playground Consultant, Becky Hazell, worked with St Francis Primary School in North Somerset to create a new and exciting active playground.
The school had a tired and limited active play space and the equipment was extremely old and no longer engaged or challenged the children.
The school worked extremely hard over a 3 year period to raise the funds necessary for this project. With so much incredible work going on behind the scenes, we wanted to make sure we provided them with their dream playground environment.
From the very start 3 years ago, children, teachers, parents and friends of St Francis have all helped on several occasions to raise money towards the final target needed to redevelop this area on the playground.
They also volunteered to help prepare the area themselves and had groups of children and parents digging out the existing space and laying the MOT needed for us to begin the installation.
During the initial consultation, the school emphasised how important it was to provide more opportunities for physical activity and variety in their play opportunities. The school were keen to provide play equipment that was engaging, challenging and social for children to enjoy.
Throughout the consultation and design process, the children on the school council have been the driving force and made key decisions on the play equipment that has been installed.
After speaking with the school council, the decision was made to choose a Trim Trail because the children were excited by the idea of building their own trail selecting different obstacles from our brochure.
The children gave lots of thought into the items that were chosen, carefully considering whether items were suitable for all users, that it included a range of skills including balance and co-ordination and that they were progressive developing their upper body and lower body strength.
After the children picked the obstacles for their new physical challenge area, Becky was able to create a design that would utilise the space effectively.
Becky decided on a rectangular shaped Trim Trail to fit the space, this was to provide scope for the trail to be used as part of a continuous circuit whilst leaving a large space in the middle for children to use as a cross-between different items as well as an area to enjoy free play.
Here are the Trim Trail obstacles chosen by the School Council:
- Rocking Log Traverse – A spinning beam and rope hand hold that will make children use their upper body to hold on and maintain their stability whilst their lower body handles the unstable movement of the spinning beam. This resource truly tests children’s core balance and footwork.
- Trapeze Swing Traverse with Step Up Logs – An overhead crossing challenge that makes children focus on the swinging momentum needed to successfully cross. Continuation of play will result in children building stronger dexterity in their hands giving them a much stronger grip when it comes to using ropes and other hand holds.
- Stepping Logs – 6 raised stepping logs in various sizes that can be used as a platform to link equipment.
- Climbing Poles – These timber poles include climbing holds for children to manoeuvre through and improve their foot and hand placement as well as their upper and lower body strength.
- Net Traverse – A creative kinetic bridge designed to encourage children to climb and use their hands and fingers to grip whilst moving along the ropes.
- Rope Swing Traverse – Children will need to use their upper body strength, grip and grasp to keep themselves stable whilst they work their core and foot placement to stay on the tight rope below.
- Mini Balance Beam – A small connecting beam that connects one item to another and helps improve chidlren's overall balance.
- Double-Sided Timber Climbing Wall – With over 50 colourful climbing holds, children will be able to choose their own path depending on how confident they feel when crossing the climbing wall.
- Twist Net – A challenge that increases in difficultly as the net twists to almost a vertical point.
- Tightrope Bridge – A tightrope crossing aimed at improving children’s balance, core stability and foot placement.
You can view our full range of Trim Trail resources here...
Our Playground Consultant, Becky Hazell, had this to say:
"I have absolutely loved working alongside the children and the amazing PTA and Teaching Team at St Francis. It has been a joy to work with such a close community of passionate and determined individuals. The commitment from the school and parents has been fantastic and going back to see the first class of children using our play equipment was a huge highlight for me. The transformation of the space and the way in which the children are playing has been spectacular. It is clear this new area is going to be loved and enjoyed by the children for a very long time."
Sarah Chaplow who is apart of the 'Friends of St Francis Catholic Primary School', has this to say:
If you are interested in installing any of the equipment seen here at St Francis, or would like to find out more about how we could help develop your playground, do not hesitate to either complete our Online Contact Form or call us on 01625 890 330 (North Office) or 0117 370 0899 (South Office).