Enhancing the early years foundation space at Bugthorpe C of E Primary School.

Case Study

Bugthorpe C of E Primary, East Riding

Bugthorpe Church of England Primary School, nestled in the picturesque East Riding of Yorkshire, initiated a transformative project to revamp their early years outdoor area.

The goal was to create a vibrant and inspiring space that fosters physical activity, ignites creativity, and cultivates a love for reading among early years pupils

In their quest to enhance the EYFS outdoor area, the school partnered with us to integrate children’s outdoor play equipment into a setting that’s not only irresistible to young learners but also rich with opportunities for learning through play.

  • Challenges- All work and No Play!

Limited Space

The overhaul of the outdoor playset demanded careful planning to make the most of the available space. A space-efficient approach was essential to seamlessly incorporate the new outdoor play equipment, ensuring every inch was utilised effectively.


Prioritising the wellbeing of the children, our design process put the safety standards in playgrounds at the forefront. This led to the careful selection of age-appropriate outdoor play equipment, establishing a secure and enjoyable environment for the children’s outdoor activities.

Diverse Play Elements

Our project aimed to interlace a diverse array of play elements, from engaging adventure trails to imaginative creative spaces, which included an outdoor stage and a mud kitchen. This ensured the new outdoor area would meet the varied interests and developmental needs of the school’s early years children.

  • How we rose to the challenge

Design and Implementation

Early Years Adventure Trail

We unveiled an exhilarating early years adventure trail, outfitted with a traverse net, clatter bridge, balancing beams, and a log weaver. These elements, inspired by adventure trails for older children, were meticulously selected to foster the children’s gross motor skills, balance, and coordination, all while encouraging a sense of adventure and exploration.

Mud Kitchen

A new mud kitchen was woven into the EYFS play area, complete with spacious planters, a mud pit, concrete paving, and locker-style storage. This creative addition promotes imaginative and sensory play, inviting the children to explore and create with natural materials.

Bespoke Canopy

To ignite a passion for literature among youngsters, we meticulously designed and installed a bespoke canopy over an outdoor reading space, which is now graced with a story-telling chair and snug bench seating. This captivating nook offers a peaceful, protected haven for children to immerse themselves in the enchanting world of books and storytelling.

An outdoor stage for schools was ingeniously incorporated into the design, creating a corner stage that encourages creative expression and dramatic play. Equipped with a slip-resistant performing surface and a chalkboard backdrop, this space serves as an exciting stage for children to express their talents, while simultaneously fostering their communication and teamwork skills.

The centrepiece of the Early Years outdoor play area is surfaced with high-quality artificial grass for playgrounds, which significantly enhances both safety and aesthetic appeal. This plush, resilient surface provides a gentle landing for active children, adding a vibrant, lush green ambiance to the play setting.

  • A happy ending…

The revamped play area at Bugthorpe C of E Primary School stands as a shining example of outdoor play area redesign excellence, earning praise for its innovative features and the warm, inviting atmosphere it creates for children.

The addition of an adventure/trim trail has markedly boosted physical activity, offering children exciting opportunities to refine their balance and coordination. This stimulating component is a perfect complement to the play area, encouraging much-needed development of upper body strength in a fun and engaging way.

This newly developed early year outdoor area has been transformed into a hub of creativity with creative play and learning areas, including a mud kitchen and an outdoor reading space. These zones are dedicated to nurturing children’s imagination and communication abilities, fostering a rich, interactive learning environment.

In the realm of play area design, safety and durability take centre stage, with durable play equipment and safe play surfaces such as the artificial grass laying the foundation for a secure and long-lasting space where children can play with peace of mind.