Setting the Scene

Oakhurst Primary School is a bright and vibrant School. It is one of the largest primary schools in Swindon, with three extremely large EYFS outdoor areas accessible by 84 children aged from 3 to 5 years. The Early Years Foundation Stage at Oakhurst endeavour to make each child’s time fun as well as educational.

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Customer Objectives

Oakhurst were clear that they wanted their EYFS area to have minimal plastic and to be neutral in colour. Oakhurst stated they liked their current gravel pit but wanted to enhance this, which would improve the play experience for the children, increasing physical activity and enhancing creativity.

The brief made it clear that the design should promote fine and gross motor skills and promote creativity as they wanted a scooter and bike area and an inviting mud kitchen and playhouse.

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Our Solution

Our design solution included an Early Years Sensory Tower holding items that would encourage sensory exploration and communication, whilst providing an exciting physical challenge.

We placed the Early Years Sensory Tower in the centre of the three EYFS areas surrounded by Just Like Grass surfacing to extend the sensory experience. The Sensory Tower is an open-ended product that is a fantastic way to promote imaginative games, role play activities, physical development and literacy as the space is transformed into a reading den or even a hideaway!

We also extended their Gravel Pit by creating a Large Bespoke Gravel & Sand Pit under the existing Canopy that could fit large play construction vehicles. We created a Performance Stage surrounded by Just Like Grass and timber posts with holes to hang bunting, fairy lights or curtains to encourage creativity and Role Play.

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We added Blue Play Grass in the sports area to sperate it from the bike and scooter track. The scooter and bike track was created using Just Like Grass and Black Play Grass with road markings and a speed bump leading to the Bike and Scooter storage shelter.

To encourage literacy and storytelling we added a Storytelling Chair on Just Like Grass and a Book Hub and Storage Unit to add comfort and inspire listening and attention as well as literacy and reading. To promote knowledge and understanding of the world and role play we made a Mud Kitchen with wooden plant units where the children could use the herbs they have grown to in their play and exploration.

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Originally published Oct 26, 2021 4:56:55 PM , updated January 30, 2024