Campbell Cadey

A school playground strategy with a makeover built by the parents.
Acrylic laser cut

Acrylic laser cut "keys to success"

Planted benches for sitting and playing

Planted benches for sitting and playing

Small playhouse for gentler play

Small playhouse for gentler play

View of temporary set up in the playground.

View of temporary set up in the playground.

Planted benches can be moved around the playground

Planted benches can be moved around the playground

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Acrylic laser cut "keys to success"

Project Type

Primary School Playground

Project status :

Ongoing

Campbell Cadey has been working with this brand new school in both its temporary and permanent location. The initial project enlivened the playground of their temporary site and when they moved to their new school building, we were asked to bring life to the patch of tarmac proposed for the new playground.

The new school was constrained in outdoor space and there was a limited budget for change. As such we put forward a carefully considered strategic plan that could be implemented in phases over a number of academic years.

With input from both children and teaching staff, the brief was determined for the crucial areas of play space. Areas for different types of creative, natural and physical play were needed for children ranging in age from 4 to 11. We therefore needed to design spaces that could be flexible and engaging throughout a child’s life at school, and for different types of play to coexist.

We initially set out a simple breakdown of the space to allow for a quieter side  and a more active play side. These were separated by a ground painted play path to link the main get to the school entrance.

The active side of the playground allows for different types of movement based play with a A small multi-use games area (MUGA), climbing wall and climbing frame.  The quieter space utilises some of the planting, small playhouses and growing beds to break down the space and allow key points of more gentle play. There is also a play trail between the trees to provide further interest.

 

Flexibility in such a small space was crucial, and as such portable benches / planters were designed to allow for different configurations at different times.  They can be lined up to allow people to watch the football, placed in pairs to encourage sociability and These timber benches with planted pockets utilise sensory planting to increase potential wildlife but also visual and sensory interest.

The sterile setting needed vibrancy. As such a series of life size acrylic cut-outs were produced of the pupils carrying out their favourite activities or of their favourite animals, plants and local parakeets. These we’re installed around the perimeter to enliven the very sterile fence before any planting was mature.

A large part of the project and its implementation has been with the help of the parent body. We have held construction days where parents came to transform the playground. Since then a climbing wall, climbing frame and table trail sit now along side the start of a playhouse village, screened areas of mobile-planted benches, and raised vegetable patches, funded in the majority by parents raising money.

 

New funding has also  been sourced from LBS to enable a green screen to be installed around the edge of the playground as initially proposed to reduce pollution, with additional areas for planting within the playground to increase biodiversity and add seasonal interest.

Plan of the playground design

Plan of the playground design

View of quiet play space

View of quiet play space

View through quite play to sport beyond

View through quite play to sport beyond

Exploded axo of the playground design

Exploded axo of the playground design

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Plan of the playground design