DISPLAYING ITEMS BY TAG: OUTDOOR LEARNING

Creativity and innovation come hand-in-hand with good playground design, and this is exactly what Playforce consultant Lizzy achieved when working alongside the team at Radcliffe Hall C of E Primary School to get maximum use from their outdoor space.

School budget cuts have had a lot of bad press recently, but they don’t have to mean doom and gloom for schools that want to take on a new play project. At Playforce we’ve done the research, and we know that playground investments are worth it.

Encouraging children to be active and play outdoors is becoming increasingly difficult as they opt to spend time indoors on a variety of technological devices. The lack of outdoor activity has contributed to the increased obesity amongst children. According to figures from the NHS, around 10% of children are obese in their first year of school. We at Hand Made Places specialise in designing, manufacturing and installing high quality timber playgrounds to encourage outdoor learning and play at schools, and here we explain why we do what we do.

As the UK’s leading suppliers of street furniture, at Broxap we have a diverse and extensive product range that covers everything from waste bins to benches, canopies to cycle shelters. To further our service capabilities, in 1990 we expanded our remit and started offering bespoke Design & Build projects, through which we’ve produced specific designs for hundreds of developments and schemes. For nearly 80 years, we’ve delivered projects all over the country, for clients with varying budgets and requirements.

Last year, the Parent Teacher Association (PTA) at St Nicholas’ CE Primary School contacted Playforce about an outdoor development project they’d been planning in their meetings. They were looking for someone to help them develop their playground with equipment that encouraged their pupils to play outdoors at every opportunity. They turned to us to help make their outdoor space outstanding.

Outdoor Learning can be a powerful tool in the teacher’s rucksack. But like any tool, you need the right one for the job. You can cut wood with a screwdriver, but it’s tricky and messy! I want to share with you some ways that learning outside the classroom can make an impact on English and Maths, whatever age or phase, and how it can in turn impact on a wider school community.

The team at Playforce work hard to help increase opportunities for physical activity and sport in schools and the wider community, and have been campaigning to tackle issues such as childhood obesity and the role sporting events play in inspiring children to live active lives for a number of years. In support of this goal, Playforce design equipment and outdoor spaces for schools and nurseries to encourage active play and exercise as part of a child’s daily routine.

Dr Katherine Forsey is a retained consultant for Gratnells, school storage and staging providers and leading outdoor education specialist. In her role as senior panellist for Gratnells Learning Rooms, an all-embracing approach to the environment in which teachers and pupils interact, Katherine delivers practical outdoor education opportunities for school children. She believes going outdoors shouldn’t be reserved for the occasional school trip, but should be a regular, normal part of the school day at every time of year:

Teachers looking to tackle the Sugar Tax and Sports Premium are getting support from outdoor activities specialists Creative Play. The Chester-based organisation is working with schools throughout the UK to encourage outdoor play and exercise through the installation of high-quality playground equipment.

At Playforce we’ve helped create outstanding outdoor spaces across the country for nearly twenty years. We’ve worked on projects big and small, helping schools at every stage of the process; from fundraising to finishing touches. Akeley Wood Junior School in Milton Keynes approached us about part of a complete Early Years department redevelopment.

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