Starting the new academic year in style at St Thomas of Canterbury Catholic Primary School


Client: St Thomas of Canterbury Catholic Primary School

Location: Guildford, Surrey

Neil Lewin, headteacher at St Thomas of Canterbury Catholic Primary School contacted Playdale to arrange for Jill Watson, our Regional Manager for the South to visit the school to carry out a free, no obligation site survey and consultancy. They had exciting plans to really develop and enhance their outdoor space into four areas to increase outdoor learning opportunities, and in particular to encourage drama, dance and music. Neil wanted to make sure that whole classes had enough space and opportunity to work outside as a group, not just small cohorts of pupils at a time.

Much of the equipment selected and included in our design was completely new as opposed to replacing existing equipment. There was just an old, tired Adventure Trail that had come to the end of its life. There were a number of playground tarmac markings but some had been covered by building extensions so couldn’t really be used. New graphics were on the wish list as they can really complement &  lift a playground design and are great learning aids.  This entire project would, without doubt, enhance the quality of the pupils’ playtimes and lesson times by providing an exciting, active environment that would cater for all ages.

Working together with Neil, the school, the space available and the available budget we produced a design proposal. This included detailed quotations, scaled plans and colourful picture sheets. Following a few tweaks and amendments, the final design was agreed upon and work could begin!

The children of St Thomas of Canterbury are now enjoying their fantastic new outdoor learning and play areas. There is equipment to cover all aspects of the curriculum and active play, from an Early Years’ Multi-Play Unit, Adventure Trail and Musical Instruments through to a Stage, Shelter and Outdoor Classroom Seating. Not to mention some eye-catching, exciting playground Tarmac Graphics!

In the images above and below you can see the Glenduckie Plus Early Years’ Multi-Play Unit from our Little Hamlets Plus range taking centre stage on the vibrant blue all-weather Wet Pour surfacing. This is surrounded by items from our best-selling timber Adventure Trail range which is designed to keep children active, and to challenge a number of their skills including balance & coordination, problem-solving and teamwork.

The image below shows our Modular Shelter Outdoor Classroom accompanied by rows of Outdoor Classroom Benches, a strip of Musical Instruments and a Ben Nevis Climbing Wall on the far side. The all-weather surfacing you can see here is Playdale Bonded Rubber Mulch.

Budding performers at this school will love taking the limelight with their new Stage complete with plenty of audience seating!

A twist on the traditional playground favourite, this 3D Extreme Hopscotch gives a 3D optical illusion to create excitement and a definite wow factor!

Following the installation, the reaction and feedback were superb. Neil contacted us to say, “We wanted an area to engage and enthuse the children, to make play exciting again. The new installations have certainly done that. The playground markings are of use to the whole school with children across all year groups using the number based graphics and the feelings zone in Circle Time. The younger children who can access the play equipment absolutely love it.”

We think you’ll agree it’s quite a transformation!

If you are considering improving your school’s outdoor areas contact us to arrange a free, no-obligation appointment with your local Playdale Area Manager.


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