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Blog posted on 13th January 2017 by John Danby
Robin Hood Primary School in Wakefield has recently been given the Playscheme touch, with a brand new integrated play area that incorporates three separate zones.
The school, located in the South of Leeds within the Rothwell family of schools, caters for 3-11 year olds and was in desperate need of a makeover outside.
With quite a large open space outdoors, we were able to design three different zones that give the children choice when it comes to their play time. Installing equipment into a quiet area, nature area and activity area, youngsters can now decide whether they want to sit and relax, or get rid of some energy on the play equipment.
Within the quiet area, there is room to sit and relax, as we made use of their existing picnic benches, which we were able to re-locate into this newly created area.
Leading into the quiet area is an arbour trellis entrance, which can be used to grow climbing plants and flowers, making it a beautiful floral doorway during the spring and summer; somewhat like a secret garden. We have also installed two Ball Stop Planters, so that the school are able to plant greenery and flowers, to blossom all year round. This area is then surrounded by 13m of post and rail fencing, closing off the area away from the rest of the playground.
For the nature area, we built a 2.4m x 4.8m Malton Shelter with bird watching window, which looks absolutely stunning. The area is big enough to accommodate different groups of children, whether they want to spy on the different species of birds flying down to land on the nearby trees and bird station, or draw on the large magnetic whiteboard we have hung inside; there is plenty to do.
Storage is key in this area, too, as the shelter provides well-needed shelves for the safe-keeping of drawing and study materials or other play equipment.
If the little ones are looking to get serious about studying nature, then they can gather round the Mini Beast Trunk or the Bug Hotel to identify and learn about the many bugs that will move in and make a home.
This area is fantastic for children who are looking to let off some steam in their play time. There are stepping stones to hop, skip and jump across; Junior TramTrax and Swinging Steps to tackle. We also included a log walk and two split traverse panels, which have hand and foot holds.
Encouraging role play and in an attempt to build confidence in youngsters, we installed a 3m x 2m stage, surrounded by 4 extended posts. Situated in the trees, shade is offered on hot days and a 3m woodland bench has also been installed in front of the stage so children can watch their peers and applaud them as they sing, dance act and joke around.
The final piece of the activity area is the Burmah Bridge, which hones balance and traversing skills. Children can move their way across the spanned chain using the hand hold chains to help them, or even attempt to brave it with no support!