A route through the space for Parents to use to collect and drop off their children was kept but the majority of the tarmac was either removed or covered with a variety of softer textures.
The additional of bark strip, decking and sand improves the acoustics of the space, allows for loose material play and enabled the creation of planting beds. We chose a mix of hardy perennials and bamboos to improve air quality and biodiversity.
A large amphitheatre was built with tiered staging from larch timber and covered with a carpet of astroturf to create soft seating spaces. It can be used as both a play feature and creative space for informal outdoor teaching and as a performance space.
A Pole Jungle climbing structure fitted with scramble nets was designed for the available space and sits over the play sand which acts as the safety surface as well as being a playful item in its own right. Climbing has really important benefits to improving and developing children’s large and small motor skills.
The poles were painted by a local artist before installation and the nets allow places to hang out in social groups as well as encouraging challenging climbing and balancing.
The school had existing canopy structures outside each classroom and we fitted timber walls to enclose the spaces with window openings hung with made to measure canvas blinds. The blinds can be rolled up on sunny days and put down when wet or windy and they have clear panels to let in light.
The inside space under the canopies were decked with larch boards to create a warm inside/outside space that can be used for overflow classroom space, storage, small group work and a sheltered play space in hot or wet weather.