Smeeth Primary School, Kent wished to extend they playground and make it an more interesting place for the Key 1 and 2 pupils as well as upgrading the reception class outdoor environment
The school wanted to maintain it leafy, rural image but make the playground as engaging as possible. The school has attractive grounds with a playing field split into two levels by a bank and a playground bordered by a large patio area.
Running along side the playground was a natural turf area which for most of the school year was unusable. The large patio area while very practical was hard on hands and knees and didn’t lend itself easily to different types of play. The area was prone to flooding with large puddles after any rainfall.
Working with SSP an more interactive and engaging playground was designed with playground equipment and safe play flooring.
The usuable play are was extended to include the natural turf are which was replaced with ‘all weather’ artificial grass and wet pour rubber. Old timber planters were removed from patio area and as part of the base works additional soakaway drainage installed. A compacted aggregate base provided a level surface and provides a free draining surface.
- Artificial Grass
- Wet Pour Rubber
- Climbing Frame – Clamber Stack Mezzo
- Musical Playground Equipment – Bongo’s , Xylophone and a Synthesizer
- Timber Fitness Trail- Log Snake, rope walk, cross rope, 200mm stepping logs, walk & stretch, sloping balance walk
- Climbing Wall – Double sided traverse wall
- Ground /Base Works -compacted aggregate base & drainage
The chosen clamber stack mezzo includes scramble net and rope guides. A clambers stack allows multiple chidlren to play together and without a fixed pathway through it, a variety of routes across can be delveloped whcih encourage social skills and sharing skills. Clamber stack climbing frame allows the greater activity and can aid the development of both upper and lower body strength.
Next to the clambers stack is a double sided traverse wall. These are different to climbing walls which encourage climbing upwards a traverse wall ecourages movement along the wall.
The school previously had a two peice timber trail which had proven a popular physical activity. A larger timber trail was selected which included 8 seperate elements. Each element provide a different challenge and aids the development of good balance skliis , hand & eye coordination and physical fitness.
Three peices of musical playground equipment allow a change of pace at the end of the artificial grass area. The bongo’s, synthesizer and xylophone provide a free musical encounter for all pupils without the need for lessons or practice. The electonic synthesizer music is mixed with a more traditional children instument the xyophone and the bongo’s introduce world music.
Lastly the seating area under the tree was replaced with an hexagonal seat and the muddy area under the tree covered with artificial grass. Artificial grass allows rainfall to percolate through so is ideal playground floorinf around trees and bushes. Cleaning it is simply done with a broom and leaf blower.
Smeeth school were delighted with their new playground area ready for it’s grand opening in April .See their news page for how delighted they are. Click Here