All roads lead to St Vincent’s Nursery!
Look at this fabulous new ‘Real-Life Roadway’ circuit we’ve created for the children of St Vincent’s Nursery in Altrincham. And that’s not all!
Their garden was in need of a revamp - and we were thrilled to play our part in helping them to turn their dreams of having an inspiring, challenging, thought-provoking, relaxing, fun, and most importantly, child-led outdoor space, into reality.
Under the shade of the magnificent Weeping Willow tree at this independent nursery in Trafford, the children have been happily enjoying active and imaginative outdoor learning through play every day since we completed the installation.
Paul Bayliss, our Sales Director, worked with St Vincent’s Nursery Manager, Ivana Beckett, to carefully plan and design a new nursery garden layout that would support the EYFS areas of learning in a wonderfully fun-focused way.
All Kinds of Motor Skills!
The most important thing for St Vincent’s was the Roadway Circuit. This was because the children were involved in the design process with us, giving their own ideas as to how they would like it to look - they absolutely loved having their own input and watched us at work every day as the drawings came to life in front of them.
We designed this all-weather Wetpour Roadway especially for St Vincent’s in a winding freeform figure, with a roundabout, pedestrian crossings, colourful roadway signs and yellow dashed lines, numbered parking bays and super-soft and tactile Artificial Grass islands.
We laid it at the furthest end of the nursery garden as it will always be a busy area with wheeled vehicles, so the children don’t need to cross through it to get to any of their other play zones.
This ‘real world’ activity zone has a smooth and impact-absorbing surface so it’s perfect for motor development, racing around on trikes and scooters with minimal risk of injury. It’s a great spot for physical exercise, fun role play games and learning about road safety too!
“It looks absolutely incredible!” said Ivana “We love it. The children are thrilled to be let out to explore!”
Whatever the Weather...
In front of the Roadway Circuit we installed a spacious Playturf Artificial Grass area around the existing play tower.
This has given the children at St Vincent’s a beautiful, green, well-being boosting, all-weather garden to love. There’s plenty of room to run around, for floor-based activities with small-world resources, or to sit and enjoy a story.
A favourite feature is the Octagonal Tree Seat that we built around their stunning Weeping Willow tree.
The children love to sit back and look up through the leaves, with a comfortable space to enjoy nature and observe the effects of the changing seasons. It’s an ideal relaxing reading spot for improving literacy and finding real pleasure in time spent with a good book!
A large Freestanding Timber Canopy to one edge of the garden provides shelter from the elements, so the children can now enjoy playing outside all year round without being interrupted by the weather!
With matching Timber Bow Top Fencing underneath, we split this area to create two different zones that can be used for different outdoor learning activities running at the same time.
We added Perch Benches, Picnic Tables and fun Moveable Artificial Grass-Topped Seats here, so the space can easily be used as an outdoor classroom, and somewhere special to enjoy the fresh air at snack times and lunchtimes.
Fairytale Physical Activity...
Favourite fairytales come to life at St Vincent’s with their new Clatter Bridge with Rope Handrails, complete with a set of magical Stepping Logs for access. This physical play feature in the centre of the garden invites the children to travel across and see what happens when they do!
The gentle movement of the clatter bridge supports children in developing their balance, coordination and core stability as they walk, run, slide, hop or jump across - with rope handrails for guidance and grip strength. Where will the bridge lead them today? It’s up to them!
Investigate and Imagine…
Sensory and messy play activities form a huge part of the EYFS curriculum, and where better to enjoy these kinds of activities than the nursery garden?!
We installed some fantastic new sensory play equipment at St Vincent’s - a well-equipped and sturdy Mud Kitchen and two inclusive Covered Sand Boxes for the Children to get hands-on digging and exploring, using their fine motor skills and playing creatively.
For role play games and den-building adventures, there’s a Giant Playhouse with Chalkboard for mark making - bringing fun to phonics and new ideas for numeracy. The thread holes along the front will allow the staff and children to hang signs etc and dress up their playhouse any way they choose.
The children can even watch themselves in action with a Giant Playground Mirror to support PSED.
This is now a brilliant garden for the children to imagine, investigate and experiment, benefiting from outdoor experiences right across the Early Years areas of learning.
Special Learning Experiences...
Because this was a term time installation that took place while the children were attending the nursery, staff at St Vincent’s had to find different ways to engage the children outdoors while they were waiting to use their new garden playground.
Pentagon’s years of experience working with schools and nurseries means that we’re well equipped to work around children, so it was a pleasure for us to see them embracing the installation as an exciting outdoor learning experience in itself.
The children loved coming out to watch it taking shape, watching the diggers going in and out and all the different tools that we used to build their playground - and our professional installers were always happy to answer their questions!
“The installers were great - they were very friendly!” said Ivana. “We’ve really enjoyed working with Pentagon. It’s been great from start to finish and what I loved about it most was the personal experience - everybody’s been very friendly. Would we work with Pentagon again? 100% yes!”
Is your nursery garden in need of a revamp? We can help! You can find out more about our work with schools and nurseries across the UK, and view our full range of outdoor learning, play and sports products.
Please do Contact Us to arrange a free, no-obligation consultation with one of our experts.