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The Issue

The school required an inclusive play area for its nursery and reception pupils. It was important that all pupils would be able to move from one zone to another with ease and that the play area would be useable all year round.

The school had a set budget which it needed to utilise to its fullest.

The Resolution

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The Process

The school invited three companies to bid for the contract. Upon consideration of the submitted plans, the school selected Sovereign because they felt Area Manager Julie Pearce had listened to the brief and correctly interpreted their needs, including giving due consideration to the Early Foundation Years Stage framework parameters.

All work was carried out over a one week period.

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The Installation

The design offers great fluidity between spaces and almost tells a story with paths moving children from one zone to another.

Phase one:

Other than the initial consultation and design period there was no other preparatory work to undertake due to the lack of any existing play equipment. This meant that Sovereign was able to enter the installation stage very quickly.

Phase two:

Sovereign installed a range of play equipment including ‘The Brig’, which is based on a ship design and incorporates wooden platforms at different levels, a slide, a log climber, a rock climber, log ramp and gang plank.

Other equipment installed included a 1000mm high Foxtail Adventure Tower, which is accessed via a gently sloping rock climbing ramp. The tower incorporates a slide and provides challenging play for younger and older children alike.

Other areas newly incorporated include a storytelling area, musical play, sensory play panels and a Play Lodge, which gives the children the opportunity to explore imaginative play. It comes complete with machine-rounded posts and half rounded cladding, with three walls and roof supports. The Apex roof on the Play Lodge is constructed using overlapping featheredge timber, helping to provide both shade and shelter. It can be used for seating or shelter, or can house a range of toys that children can use for role-play.

Sovereign also incorporated all weather surfacing in the play areas and the pathways between the zones to allow for all-year round, safe access.

The Results

  • The children are enjoying a more stimulating outdoor environment, which is helping them to explore both structured and free play
  • The new play area is purpose-built and inclusive so can be enjoyed all year round by pupils of different ages
  • The design supports the Early Foundation Years Stage framework parameters
  • The play area is helping to encourage social interaction and enabling the children to further develop key mental and physical skills
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