How School’s Outdoor Space can make them a Number One choice

Outdoor space in schools is a fantastic asset for enriching pupil’s personal, social and emotional development. Whether your school has extensive grounds or very limited external areas, explore how to enhance these and why they are an important factor in parent’s school placement decision making.

The availability of outdoor space certainly varies from school to school. For city schools, it comes very much at a premium due to development demand. Often such schools have very limited outdoor space. In stark contrast, schools located away from urban hot spots can cover surprising acreage, some boasting several playgrounds, playing fields, woodland and more!

Despite these differences, it’s imperative that schools do everything they can to make the most of the outdoor space they have.

Utilising Outdoor Areas in your School

Encourage outdoor learning

Whether you have extensive grounds or a simple courtyard, utilising this space as an outdoor learning area is the best use you can make of it. Viewing outdoor leaning as an extension of lessons learnt in the classroom changes your perspective of play. From running around and exploring nature to simply carrying out a maths lesson in the fresh air, there’s a lot to be said for outdoor learning. Plus, parent’s perception of outdoor learning is a ‘good thing’ with many appreciating the value of engagement in outdoor learning and the health benefits of being outdoors.

Provide seating

Providing seating is a great way to get more out of your outdoor space. Aside from the obvious playtime benefits, seating opens the door to outdoor learning by enabling the use of the space for a readingdrama or story-time area. It also facilitates the development of a number of key skills, including socialisation, speech and language development.

Without seating areas, you may find students choose to stay indoors just to have somewhere to sit while talking or eating. A well-designed, purpose-built seating space draws them into spending time outside and, ultimately, to be more active.

If possible, providing shelter over all or some of the seating area extends usability even further. This also covers the concerns of any parents that may have reservations of extended outdoor learning due to weather condition concerns.

Install playground equipment

A small playground certainly doesn’t have to be a boring one! If your space is limited, make what you have as good as it can be. Here at Playcubed, we have a range of playground equipment stretching from the vast down to the very small. Remember, a single piece of play equipment could make the difference between your outdoor space being a benefit or going to waste.

Utilise every surface

If you are really limited on space, why not make use of available vertical surface area? Walls can offer space for targets, activity and educational panels, or even a colourful mural.

Down to the ground

All play surfaces must be safe, clean and durable. However, you can transform it into an attractive design feature as well. Revitalise your area with colour, vibrancy and interest. Some safety surfaces come in a variety of colours. However, playground markings are another way to add something to your outdoor space without taking up any actual space. Depending on the area you have available, you can enjoy everything from sports pitches and daily mile tracks down to small hopscotch markings and the like.

Call in the playground experts

Having installed thousands of play areas over the last 40 years, we’ve experienced both the very large and incredibly small. We are proud to say, each one has become a well-used and beneficial play space. Our team of expert playground designers are able to create an outstanding play area to suit any space. So, we’d love to hear from your school today!

Speak to the play experts