Outdoor Classrooms & Shelters, Outdoor Playground Equipment

Why Our Outdoor Play Equipment For Schools Is Safe

little girl climbing a wooden climbing stack outdoors

With health and safety becoming more and more important in all aspects of life, we always try to reduce any risks wherever possible. In this article, we’re going to talk about the current state of education and safety, and why our outdoor play equipment for schools is safe to use in any school and nursery playground area.

The Current State Of Education Funding

Preschools, primary schools, and nursery schools nowadays are limiting their outdoor time as they’re afraid of various risks. 

We believe this truly limits students, as outdoor learning and natural play improve wellbeing and are vital to their holistic development. With outdoor playground equipment designed by Red Monkey Play, you don’t have to worry about safety issues! With high-quality materials and childproofing systems, we focus on creating clever playground designs so that students can stay safe at all times whilst exploring new ways to play and learn with our equipment. 

Currently, the education sector is taking a hit whilst being under the current government, as the analysis by the House of Commons Library found that real-term spending on schools and colleges had slumped from £95.5bn in 2011/12 to £87.8bn last year, with a total fall of £7.7bn. 

With these budget cuts throughout the country on education, schools are finding it harder than ever to cope with their management. This can be seen with countless national and local teacher strikes across the country, such as when teachers in Thornbury stroke over ‘excessive workloads’, according to BBC News.

This means schools across the country are being forced into making a lot of difficult decisions with their budgets. One of the solutions many schools are turning to is changing the timings of the school day. With classroom time being prioritised, this often eats into children’s valuable break times, and this is naturally where children have time to play in outdoor spaces, and where they can interact with each other whilst using outdoor play equipment. 

The Budget & Safety Dilemma

This issue of shortening break times has come about because schools now have complete control of their timetables, which led to schools increasingly shortening their teaching days in an effort to decrease spending, thus trying to cope with the cuts. By doing so, they can save their budgets in a number of ways, namely by having the schools open for less time, whilst also allowing teachers to spend less time on supervision and more on lesson planning. However, this has increased parents’ and teachers’ concerns over children hurting themselves during breaks. 

We are now living in an era where children’s movement is being restricted because of safety concerns, thus subjecting them to increased adult control, and reducing the quality time they have for social interaction with their peers. These social situations give children opportunities to be adventurous, in particular in an emotional context, to control these emotions, and to experiment with new ways of collaborating with each other. 

A recent study has proven that there is a link between shorter lunch breaks and an increase in sedentary behaviour in children, which is the reason why 60 minutes of daily activity is now highly recommended, including walking. Consequently, a shorter lunch break represents a large setback to any strategy for increasing physical activity amongst children. If you want to find out more, head over to our blog on School Playgrounds That Encourage The Daily Mile

Why Does Outdoor Play Equipment For Schools Matter?

two children playing on a nature sensory path at school

At Red Monkey Play, we use our playground design experience to create bespoke play environments for your school, which encourages students to learn through play. We can create exciting playground zones for children of all ages, ranging from early years to primary school children! 

Students improve their ability to acquire new skills through play, hence why it should be actively utilised as a means to improve learning, rather than just a break during daycare or school. Based on this, we find that curriculum for all parts of the educational system, from nursery to secondary schools, set increasingly ambitious targets for the development of their children. Therefore, having outdoor classrooms and shelters or diverse playground areas where children can play and socialise with their peers can truly help your school develop and strengthen your student’s skill set and development.

This means that with our wide range of playground equipment, outdoor playtime can double up as learning time for children of all ages and abilities. On the other side, we know that the main concern with schools and cutting these times is that it isn’t cost-effective. With this in mind, we always make sure that your playgrounds are cost-effective by having a nature of duality, thus allowing your students to always learn even during breaks. For example, our role play equipment allows students to develop their performance and social skills in a much more holistic way. To find out more, read our blogs on Why Is Creative Play Important For Children’s Development and Why Free Play Is So Important In Early Years.

Why Choose Our Safe Wooden Outdoor Play Equipment For Schools

When creating our innovative playground areas, we always take safety into account. One of the main ways we do this is through the use of high-quality materials such as wood, as we believe it not only encourages sensory exploration but is also very safe. 

Wood doesn’t heat up under the sun and has fewer ‘finger traps’, which are small hinges or crevices where children can trap their fingers and hurt themselves. All our wooden playground equipment is built to have fewer finger traps and any other dangerous hinges or mechanisms for them to hurt themselves on.

Furthermore, all of our installations come with a comprehensive guarantee on the timber and fittings, whilst safety is our highest priority. Also, we always ensure that all our installations meet the requirements of all current safety standards, and that are constructed from the highest quality play-grade timber. We can also provide maintenance and safety inspections, so if you want to find out more, you can check out how we work when undertaking a playground design project. 

How We’ve Made Safe Play Spaces in the Past

Ashmount Primary School Pirate Ship Project

Over the years we’ve worked with a number of schools and nurseries to create beautiful bespoke playground spaces, which are completely safe for all students involved. One great example is our Ashmount Primary School case study, where our task was to create an exciting playground area accessible to disabled students and those with learning disabilities. 

We’ve embraced this challenge with open arms and created several diverse areas to suit a variety of pupils by creating a charming planting area, where children can get their hands dirty and watch nature take its course, which included a bespoke wheelchair-accessible planting station. 

A separate area included a large bespoke Interactive Pirate Ship with wheelchair access, where on the lower decks we’ve placed engaging sensory play panels to allow children to develop their coordination and dexterity skills. Also, the little sailors could climb onto the upper decks and take control of their ship with the moving steering wheel. To see more examples like this, check out the rest of our playground design case studies.

Get In Touch Today

If you’re interested in transforming your outdoor space and making it a centre for learning and play with our outdoor play equipment for schools and nurseries, we’re here to help! You can also check out the playground inspiration behind all our dedicated work, so you get a better idea of what you should expect.

For any further questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us. We’d be more than happy to help and answer any questions you may have, and all you have to do is to drop us an email at hello@redmonkeyplay.co.uk or call our Leicester office on 0116 366 9922.

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