A Striking Nursery And Reception Playground Development
Exciting news for children, staff and parents at St Joseph’s Catholic Primary School in Rugeley! The redevelopment of their EYFS outdoor area is now complete and they celebrated with an official opening by Father Peter and Mary Green, Chair of Governors.
Everyone was delighted to explore the new area, which includes a life-like roadway track with allotted parking spaces for bikes and trikes, a climbing and den-building area, a wet play and water exploration area, a mud and sand zone, and musical play, along with numerous spaces for drawing, writing and being creative.
“We know this new extension to our current provision will only enhance the learning and enjoyment opportunities for our youngest children in school,” says the Headteacher of this Staffordshire primary school, Mr David Jobburns.
Here’s how we created the ideal EYFS playground for Nursery and Reception children at St Joseph’s - maximising the available space under their canopy so they can enjoy outdoor learning and play all year round…...
EYFS Playground Surfacing
Surfacing played a big role in this project. The school wanted a bright, colourful and safe environment to enjoy. This was music to our ears - we get very excited about all the amazing opportunities for learning and play we can create, just using the ground itself!
The floor is often overlooked, yet it can make an enormous difference to the quality of your playground and all the different uses you can get out of it.
At St Joseph’s, we installed our Playturf Artificial Grass to soften the area and create a natural looking and attractive outdoor space. A super, new Roadway track around parts of the artificial grass, with a “pedestrian crossing” and “roundabout” allows the children to have fun racing their vehicles around and learning a lot about road safety at the same time.
We sculptured bespoke Playground Mounds underneath an area of the artificial grass to add a different perspective for children to ride their trikes or roll and climb up, over and down. For a further injection of colour, we included separate splashes of our wetpour safety surfacing to designate different zones and provide a range of textures in the area.
All of this fabulous, new surfacing at St Joseph’s has transformed the area into an all-weather play space, that is extremely low maintenance - meaning that they can use it at any time without being interrupted by the elements!
EYFS Climbing Frame
To continue the physical play provision, we installed our Pinnacle Hill Climber next to the roadway. It’s a brilliant, entry-level climbing frame for young children to build their climbing confidence, with flexible entry and exit points, multiple crossing points and different ways to climb and traverse around the challenge.
The children at St Joseph’s are loving their new climbing challenge and it’s wonderful for helping them to develop important fine motor skills, gross motor skills, balance, core stability and upper and lower body strength.
Explorative Play and Learning Zone
Turn the corner and you come to St Josephs’ fantastic new Explorative Play and Learning Zone.
In this area we’ve included a high quality and durable timber Construction Table, designed for material exploration and construction based activities that inspire creativity, develop fine motor skills and encourage children to problem solve through independent play and team work.
An EYFS essential covered sandbox promotes sensory play and physical development as the children dig and create - while an all-singing Mud Kitchen provides a marvellous place for children to get creative cooking mud stew and enjoying role play games as they serve up surprises for their teachers and friends! An additional Mud Box is an excellent 'mud-storage' solution, promoting hands-on messy play.
We installed one of our unique Rope and Pulley Materials Movers alongside. It provides an enclosed pulley system where children can load up mud, sand, or water and transfer the materials across the area.
The rope circuit runs overhead with a bucket suspended from the ropes above. It then feeds up and down one of the vertical posts, where children can pull on the ropes to work the mechanisms, moving the suspended bucket along from one side to the other.
With the pulleys neatly enclosed inside clear boxes, the children can safely observe the pulleys working - a great introduction to scientific topics such as mechanisms.
Our favourite Water Wall with Water Play Package has created an energetic zone for investigative scientific and mathematical learning and collaborative fun at St Joseph’s.
The children love manipulating the different routes for the water to flow down and are working in teams to guide water down the Water Wall and across to the Water Table using the Water Channel Stands.
Musical Play Equipment For EYFS
For creative musical play, we installed a Batonka Panel on Posts, a Glockenspiel Panel on Posts and a set of Drum Seats. These are great resources for sparking the children's creativity and imagination.
The children at St Joseph’s love to hit the different sides of the Drum Seats to create different tunes. They’re a new design and are proving to be hugely popular, based on ‘Cajon Drums’ - a boxed shaped instrument originating from Peru.
The children are exploring drum beats and rhythm as well as learning about the importance of teamwork and turn-taking when forming their own playground band and performing to others – improving their cooperation, communication and language skills all the time.
Innovative Movable Trim Trail Equipment
Move along to the next section of the EYFS playground and you will find a further active play area, featuring a set of our innovative Get Set, Go! Blocks. These movable blocks bring open-ended active play value to the space.
The children at St Joseph’s have been excited by the range of challenges as they jump, step and climb from one to the next, building confidence in their gross motor skills.
Mark Making and Role Play Equipment
We’ve installed a Mini Performance Stage with a mirrored background for PSED, along with a set of our Den Making Posts. Each Post has totem holes and grooves that run from top to bottom, so that den building can take place at every height.
They’re ideal for threading and weaving activities which can be one of the best methods to improve children's tactile and fine motor skills. At St Joseph’s they have already been busy hanging props and creating some fabulous dens to hide in together!
To make sure there are plenty of all-important mark making opportunities within this Early Years environment, we have installed a mixture of Giant Chalkboards and Giant Whiteboards around the area. These multi-functional resources are double-sided and designed for outdoor use.
They’re invaluable tools for fine motor skill development, building strength and dexterity in the hands and fingers as the children manipulate their chalk and pens. They’re fun to use and “play teacher”, so the children are drawn to having a go!
At Pentagon, we have been creating incredible playgrounds for schools and nurseries for over 20 years. You can view our full range of innovative products and find out more about what we do here.
Please don’t hesitate to Contact Us to arrange a free playground consultation with one of our education experts.