Beaumont Primary School, Suffolk

At Beaumont Primary School the playground was much-loved but looking tired. They tell us how new play equipment has improved creative and active play as well as giving pupils a space to enjoy peace and quiet.

Why did you want to develop your playground?

We were looking for a bit more imagination in our playground and wanted to develop it into a space that would inspire our pupils to be more motivated and creative. We wanted to draw on the natural surroundings to make a playground that would encourage the children to take part in more imaginative play and develop a range of skills from physical awareness to communication.

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

We were worried that we wouldn’t be able to find equipment that would be motivating, fun, imaginative AND natural but Playforce could tick all of these boxes. The range of equipment available is fantastic and we were able to pick and choose, with help from the team, the perfect combination for our space. We got the children involved and they loved being part of the design process, it has given them a sense of ownership and responsibility.
By simply adding more active and imaginative play to the school routine, we have seen improvements across a range of skills.

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

We’ve divided our playground into zones so that pupils can choose what to play on depending on their mood. We’ve got lots of great imaginative equipment for when they’re feeling adventurous and active but we’ve also developed a space for quiet time and talking. This has given pupils confidence as they have the flexibility to move around the playground as they see fit, they are not confined to one space.

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

By simply adding more active and imaginative play to the school routine, we have seen improvements across a range of skills. Working together to find new ways to play on the equipment has developed the children’s communication and team-work skills and clambering through the different zones has boosted their physical awareness and risk assessment. They are inspired by the outdoors and this is reflected when they return to the classroom for academic subjects.

Can you share any practice insights you have gained?

We’ve found that dividing the playground into zones has helped set the pace of playtimes and given our pupils the choice of how to play. They don’t always want to be climbing and exploring or making lots of noise, so creating a space for quiet time, reading or just eating lunch has made them much happier.