Steeple Bumpstead Primary School

Pupils take centre stage in designing new outdoor play area

Published: 21 April, 2024

The youngest pupils at a village primary school have played a pivotal role in designing a much-wanted play area.

Staff and reception-age pupils at Steeple Bumpstead Primary School this week cut the ribbon on the outdoor space.

Head of School, Luke Howden, admitted the area was in need of a facelift and said he was delighted that pupils proudly took centre stage when it came to deciding what they wanted from an outdoor play and learning area.

Mr Howden said: “Our early years curriculum is all about exploration, imagination and learning through experience.

“Best of all, our pupils and staff came up with ideas for what they wanted in the space. So we have a mud kitchen, ramp, bridge, tunnel and so much more.

“We are delighted to have this outdoor area officially opened and we would like to thank Unity Schools Partnership who funded the work.

“Even when I was a pupil here, this area was in need of a facelift and it was wonderful to see the reaction of the current pupils now they have begun using it on a daily basis.”

Rachel Warr, EYFS Leader at the school, added: “This learning environment has been a dream for such a long time, that it’s hard to believe it has finally come into being.

“The Foundation children helped to design the garden. We had to stop short of a roller coaster and a hot tub, but other than that we have included everything that the children hoped for.

“Our best request was for a place to ‘take you to your imagination’, and I’m certain that that has been achieved in this beautiful area.

“Our new learning environment is engaging, enabling, stimulating and challenging. It promises opportunities to extend the children’s learning in all areas and to promote the Characteristics of Effective Learning.

“There are opportunities for turn-taking, risk-taking, communication and resilience and plenty of scope for investigation and enquiry.

“We have a beautiful new mud kitchen, a walk-in sandpit, a stage area for performances, a music area, a reading den and a fabulous water wall, as well as our woodwork bench, a mound, a road and a clamber stack and monkey bars to strengthen our muscles.”