Avanti Meadows, Bishop's Stortford

Setting the Scene

Avanti Meadows, is an inclusive school that provides a warm, friendly and engaging learning environment for children from all backgrounds and walks of life. The school is part of the Avanti Schools Trust. Opened in 2021 they have extended their educational offering to include a brand new nursery which opens this month.

With this in mind they wanted to create an inspiring and physical play space that worked well within the current space, making use of the natural grass and undulations of the area where possible. IMG_2176

Project Scope 

The wish list included a trike track, a slide, and an area for storytelling. There is a dip in the ground that is for drainage, and they wanted to utilise this space in the design. 

For added safety, fencing was required along the back of the playground to block off the steep hill at the back of the play space. AvantiMeadows1

Playground Design and Customisation

Georgia, our Playground Consultant and Dan, our Playground Designer worked together to design a play area taking into account the current space and the schools wishes. "Firstly, we put in an age-appropriate tower with a slide - we chose a double tower with 0.6mH and 0.9mH platforms and bonded rubber mulch as the surface. The building is a purpose-built, brand-new building, so we wanted the surfacing to look natural to fit in with the grass play area and provide critical fall height properties required for the tower. 

For the drainage dip in the ground, we created a bridge over the dip, making it a feature. This required a bespoke design from our Product Design team.

We created a storytelling area for small focus groups to learn, perform or tell stories to each other.

For the trike track, we opted for thermoplastics, so it is flush with the ground. We discussed different options with the school, such as a wet pour track, however we settled on thermoplastics as both parties felt this would be safest for the Nursery children."

AvantiMeadows2The schools budget was £20-30k and our proposal and final project cost £21,163 excluding VAT. We were pleased that the design met all of the schools needs whilst hitting the lower end of their budget and making use of their natural surroundings within the design. The space has lots of lovely open space so the playground required equipment to provide interest and play value within this natural setting. 

Installation and Timescale 

The school arranged for grass turfs to be laid prior to our installation, so we needed to ensure these were protected during the installation process.

We started the project on Monday 15th May and finished on Friday 19th May - plenty of time before the Nursery opened!IMG_4893

Safety and Compliance 

Bonded rubber mulch was the chosen safety surface for underneath the tower to comply with Critical Fall Height safer surface requirements.    IMG_4889

Environmental Considerations 

Bonded rubber mulch is made from recycled tyres and the colour choice fits in well with the natural surroundings. We have utilised natural grass where appropriate.IMG_4884

Impact on Children 

We can't wait to hear what the children think of their play space when they join the Nursery this month! Premises Manager, Andy Loader, commented "We are really happy with the work that has been carried out, it looks great and I know the children will enjoy it. The installation team were fantastic, very easy to work with with and extremely professional on a school site. Many thanks to them."IMG_4901

Can we help design your playground? 

We love working on all sorts of playground projects, big and small. Get in touch to arrange a free appointment where we can see the site, talk through your ideas and present you with a free design. 

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Originally published Sep 4, 2023 8:52:28 AM , updated January 31, 2024


Nursery EYFS