Setting the Scene

Ridgeway Farm CE Academy is a new school in Swindon near the Shaw Ridge retail park. It has only been open since 2016 and is growing fast. It is situated in the centre of a new estate and has a very generous outside space.

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Customer Objectives

The school contacted us to help them improve their KS1 play spaces. They asked for artificial grass in parts of the playground to break up the dominance of the tarmac and they wanted the new space to include storytelling, a teaching area, climbing apparatus, a sand pit and water play.

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Our Solution

Our design solution included a Trim Trail that would engage upper body strength and core stability, whilst providing an exciting physical challenge. We placed the trail along the edge of the tarmac playground using Just Like Grass surfacing to extend the all-weather play area, but still in keeping with the natural grass next to the field. The Trim trail included a Hanging Rope Traverse, Swinging Logs, Rope Walk, Net Walkway and Rubber Step Posts.

The KS1 playground was a very large grey tarmac area, to break up this open space we added 4 curved Just Like Grass surface areas. In one corner we placed a large Storytelling Chair and installed a White Board and Chalk Board to develop literacy skills and encourage listening and attention whilst on a soft and comfortable surface.

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In the second Just Like Grass area we made two sheltered Play Huts, one with benches inside and the other with a Chalk Board to encourage communication, language and also personal, social and emotional development.

In the third Just Like Grass area we added a Jungle Climber where the children can engage in open-ended play, whilst developing their upper body strength and core stability.

The fourth Just Like Grass area was left empty, to give the children and staff a space to use in all-weather with activities of their choosing. Water and Sand Tables were also added in the KS1 area to promote problem-solving through sensory play.

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Originally published Oct 27, 2021 1:56:57 PM , updated January 30, 2024