Barwick Primary School gets new active learning zone

Case Study

Barwick-in-Elmet Primary School, Leeds

March 2016 – This week, we will be opening up a brand new play area for Barwick in Elmet Church of England Primary School near Leeds.

On Friday 4th March, our very own John Danby will be visiting Barwick in Elmet Primary School for the grand opening of their recently refurbished outdoor area by Playscheme. This glorious event will be attended by children of the primary school and their parents, as well as members of Barwick-in-Bloom, who manage the school grounds and gardens.

The background to this fantastic new playground is somewhat special, as it was designed through a competition that we hosted. Ashleigh and John visited the school to launch the brief for the competition in February of 2015, where they ran a presentation to gain ideas for what the children wanted to include in the Active Learning Zone.

The entire school was involved in creating the design for the play area, which was an exciting project for the pupils to get involved in and let their imaginations run wild on. Teachers at the school then considered each and every design and explored the many ideas that were suggested with the children, who had become budding designers almost overnight! One design from every year group was chosen from the exercise, and the children that were selected had an exciting opportunity to visit the Playscheme offices in Elvington, York, to present their brilliant ideas to the team.

The designs were all submitted in PowerPoint presentation form and they were all fabulously created. It was during their presentations that they described to us the rationale behind each, speaking about how and why they had imagined up each element of their designs, this really was incredible to listen to and all the children were fantastic.

During their visit, the pupils from Barwick in Elmet Primary School were taken on a tour of our offices and we even let them take over our design department to try out the software, as well as showing them how to put their designs into a CAD drawing. After all the hard work was over, we then took the children to Elvington Play Area to enjoy one of our local designs, which they absolutely loved!

It was extremely difficult to select an overall winner, as you can imagine, but we decided which was the most impressive design of them all, and they will be presented with a plaque for the playground and proudly cut the ribbon to officially open the area.

The chosen design was interpreted into SketchUp, which is the specialist design software that we use, and it was then sent off to the school to tweak. We were then honoured to be able to help Barwick in Elmet Primary School raise £10,000 through the Awards for All scheme to contribute towards their new active learning zone.

Making use of the school’s existing pond area, they now have a large wooden shelter, slip-resistant decked dipping platform and an adventure trim trail. The area has also been beautifully landscaped and looks fantastic.

The design was installed over the Christmas period of 2015.