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Blog posted on 4th October 2016 by Steve Danby
I guess you're all wondering what we have been up to lately? Well, we've been up to so much. Rushed off our feet to say the least! One highlight of the last few months however, is that the Playscheme team have been involved in one of the largest and most exciting installations of the summer! This time at Freemantle C of E Community Academy in Southampton...
Freemantle has been one of our most exciting installations over the summer holiday period and was developed in two separate stages. Installed by Playscheme and one of our talented contractors. Bespoke built to the school's own specifications, a lot of the apparatus was built on site because of their grand size, and of course the distance from our workshop in York.
Freemantle C of E Community Academy is the first school to have our geometric shape range designed and installed into their new play scheme. This particular range is a modular playground that is made up of different pieces of equipment that have been designed specifically for this area. We have designed this equipment so that it can be moved and rotated by an adult, allowing the equipment to form a different playground adventure every single day. Each one of these pieces is large enough to be stable without requiring ground fixings.
The geometric playground can be used for singular use; independently to make lots of smaller play spaces, forming more of a conventional play area; as a performance area, rotating and flipping the pieces to completely change the inherent use of the product; or for role play and den building.
The play scheme that we designed for Freemantle Community Academy incorporates two different areas; the Story Time zone and a Nature Area. The playground also has a role play window and den building wall, with extended posts for draping material to make a den or for displaying work. As well as this, the playground also has a workstation seating area that include booth seats with tables for individual games and activities.
Within the playground there are plenty of creative boards for children to get artistic. These include chalkboards, whiteboards and Perspex panels. Kids can also get messy, much to the disappointment of many teachers and parents, in their very own mud kitchen. If they don't fancy getting their hands dirty, then they can perfect their amateur dramatics on the performance stage. There's something for everyone!
Surfacing was an important element in the whole concept too, as the school previously had muddy grass that looked quite unsightly. We completely converted this space to a carefully designed all-weather haven of colour and texture which now looks phenomenal; with artificial grass, blue wet-pour rubber and brown rubber mulch. The space looks a lot more clean and is easier to maintain for the school. Aesthetically, it really adds to the overall feel of the project.
Phase two of the project at Freemantle was their Tree Top Walk, which everyone has completely fallen in love with. This aspect of the design was initiated after the work had already started on the early years' area.
Kevin Barnett, Centre Director at the school saw the area's potential and provided the idea for the playground walkover. This walkover adjoins to the school's existing balcony and steps over the new development.
The structure is incredible to see, with its towers and walkways hidden in and around the trees that line the playground. We've even said that when you’re up on the top, you feel like you could be anywhere. A real getaway from the school day!
The Tree Top Walk is not just any old walkway or climbing frame, as it includes nature boards, three high towers, and a nature area with workstations for studying, and bug hotel. Bird watching windows are also integrated into the timber and there is the potential of further development in this area to include a slide. Watch this space!
Now, this school doesn’t have the largest outdoor area, but they certainly know how to make the best of what they have. The dedication and commitment of the staff throughout the whole project was commendable, making suggestions to utilise every space to benefit the development and enjoyment of the children.
Do you like what you see? We can do the same for you! To chat to us about our modular playgrounds or tree top walkways, contact us on 01904 607677 or firstname.lastname@example.org