Playground design & build specialists

Early Years Playground Transformation - Richard Avenue Primary School, Sunderland

It was great to re-visit Richard Avenue Primary School to capture some photographs of their completed new play space.

Despite the drizzly, autumnal weather, the children were absolutely loving climbing and sliding and riding around the track.

Including elements of adventure, physical play, messy play and more; there is not much that this playground doesn’t have!

Adding structure to the area

Beginning with mostly grass, an existing climbing unit and other play equipment, this playground has been completely transformed.

To start with, we added some structure to the space by incorporating different surfaces, as well as keeping some of the existing grass. Beneficial to the children, the different textures of each surface material offers sensory values to the grounds. As it was such a large and empty area before, this has made such a difference.

Artificial grass adhered to a rubber base has been fitted underneath the clamber stack, for safety purposes, as it offers a soft fall. As well as this, artificial grass is also hard-wearing, making it a great solution for areas that are intensively used.

The teachers of Richard Avenue requested a track to designate an area for the children to safely ride their bikes around. For the track, we used new pour surfacing with block paving on either side. Not only is this durable, but it looks great too!

On the inside of the track, we decided to include further aspects of physical play by adding a freestanding activity trail. This is made up of multiple timber blocks of different shapes and sizes, that can be maneuvered into alternative arrangements.

A variety of timber play resources

In other parts of the playground, we sectioned off a corner and added a role play/storytelling space, made up of certified tree bark, two woodcutters cottages and seating. This is a wonderful space for children to read, learn and engage in role play activities.

To the left of this, we situated a bespoke outdoor classroom, ideal for teachers to take lessons outdoors with room for an entire class to learn!

In another, blocked paved area, together, we decided to include a water play stream and cobbled beach, featuring a bespoke timber bridge. Offering a tranquil area to relax and read, our streams also attract children for water play activities too. Designed with longevity in mind, the streams are brilliant for playtime.  

Last but not least, to complete the space, we incorporated a selection of timber play resources, plenty of storage solutions and also timber gated fencing to ensure the safety of the children as they learn through play outdoors.

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