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Trevithick Learning Academy in Cornwall knows the value of good outdoor provision. Having recently attained Academy status, acting Principal Kaye Haywood chose to overhaul the outdoor space, creating an outstanding playscape to suit the reputation of the school. The areas targeted were developed specifically for children from ages 3 to 5, and they called in the Landscape Architect services of early year’s outdoor specialists, Playgarden to refine their design ideas.
In total 90 children use this space, encompassing children from Nursery and Reception classes, although not at any one time. Bethan Sullivan, Early Years Foundation Stage Co-ordinator was responsible for heading up the project. She comments:-
“We are very fortunate to have such a large outdoor space to utilise and wanted to make the most of it. Previously this space was just open, great for running around but we believed the site had so much more potential. We wanted to introduce zones, specifically created for different activities and wanted to include both water and sand play. The Landscape Architect at Playgarden helped us refine our ideas, creating the perfect master plan to suit our requirements and gave us the perfect foundation before moving on to the next part of the project.”
The finished designs included dedicated dry sand and wet sand areas, divided by a sleeper bridge. The wet sand area includes a playground pump and channels, and the dry sand area, a Building Site piece of play equipment, enabling children to experience sand in different mediums (wet and dry) for moulding, lifting and transporting. In addition to sand play, the school also went for a story telling area, bike track, sensory planting and concrete tube den, in amongst many other play features.
The Landscape Architect service from Playgarden combined with their specialist knowledge of play and the early years were the main reasons behind them winning this contract with Trevithick Learning Academy. The final word comes from Bethan, “The installation of the play area went very smoothly. The on-site team worked very hard to ensure that our expectations were exceeded, listening to our needs and resolving any issues as they arose. The children love the space and so do the teachers who use different elements within lesson times with small groups. To celebrate the achievement we held a circus-themed grand opening, with staff and children wearing circus fancy dress to officially open the space for play.”
For further information on Playgarden, their products and services please call 0114 282 1285, or take a look at www.playgardens.co.uk.