Bathampton Primary School, Bath and North East Somerset

With free flow play becoming an increasingly important part of the curriculum, Bathampton Primary School wanted to encourage it in a brand new way. They tell us how their Poddely set has allowed imaginations to run wild.

Why did you want to develop your playground?

Recent Ofsted reports have highlighted the importance of free flow play in schools and we knew that we needed to make it more flexible and fun. We wanted to provide out pupils with equipment that would make moving between the classroom and the playground easy and would inspire them to be imaginative, creative and intuitive. We hoped that by improving the flow between indoors and outdoors, we would help the children develop a range of new skills.

What were the key elements that made Playforce stand out from other providers?

From the very start the team at Playforce went out of their way to ensure we had the perfect solution for our school. The Poddely set is unlike anything else we’d seen on the market and we were talked through the ways in which it could benefit our pupils. Playforce is passionate about play and the enthusiasm and experience that the team has made the company stand out from the rest.

We have been delighted by the impact the play trail has had on children's behaviour. Not only they use the trail sensibly using good English queuing protocol, but also the S.M.S.A s have reported that they are having to deal with fewer problems.

How are you using the space to deliver outdoor learning and educational play?

The Poddely set has been used in everything from science experiments to school plays. We use elements of the set in lessons to help make them more interactive and to showcase examples and demonstrations first-hand. During class time we show the children how the Poddely set can be used and then when the bell rings they are free to discover new ways to play on their own.


What are the biggest benefits you have seen for the children?

By using the Poddely set to solve problems in class, we have inspired the children to discover new elements of the set during break times. Their discovery skills have been greatly improved, we’re pleased to see them going out of their way to take on new challenges. Spending more time outdoors has added variety to their day and this, in turn, has motivated them.

Can you share any practice insights you have gained?

We’ve found that a little encouragement goes a long way. The children have much richer imaginations than us, so we leave all the inventing up to them. We just show them how the equipment works and give them a few ideas to get them going. The rest is completely up to them.