Frizington Nursery School, Cumbria

The staff at Frizington Nursery School wanted to provide their children with an open-ended space to learn and play. Lesley Savage tells us how they are using their new playground to encourage outdoor play whatever the weather.

Why did you want to develop your playground?

We had been discussing a playground development for some time and we were able to coincide it with other building work within the school. We had been saving up for a while and wanted to turn our unusable outdoor space into a valuable open-ended part of our learning environment which could be used throughout the year.


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

We were really impressed with the surveyor and planner’s willingness to listen to what we wanted and include it in the plans. He appreciated the problems of our site and the solutions that he proposed were realistic and in budget. The range of equipment that Playforce has available is great and they are more than happy to create bespoke pieces. Perfect for difficult spaces like ours.

The equipment has encouraged the children to improve and challenge their physical skills.

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

The space is used as part of our continuous provision, the children have access to the equipment most of the time. It was really important to us that the equipment was open ended and provided lots of possibilities. Our new playground does that and the children use it in many different ways. It also provides them with a challenge in a safe environment.


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

Since installing the new playground we have been able to increase the amount and depth of problem solving activities that take place in school. The scope for co-operation and collaborative play has increased as well as imaginative and creative play. The equipment has encouraged the children to improve and challenge their physical skills.

Can you share any best practice insights you’ve gained?

Make sure that there are a number of possibilities for any piece of equipment you invest in. Make the outdoor space accessible and usable regardless of the weather and use it come rain or shine. The play is very different depending on the season!