The outdoor space at St Augustine’s offered no stimulation for the pupils and did not reflect the school’s energetic, forward-thinking teaching culture. Due to the lack of stimulation, the school was experiencing poor behaviour during play times, which was carrying over to the classroom environment.
Sovereign has worked in close consultation with Head Teacher Mrs Campbell to create a variety of stimulating, visually appealing outdoor areas. Using the school’s colour – red – as a focal point in the designs, Sovereign has designed and installed a range of playground equipment, seating areas, all-weather parasols and an eco-garden, which earned the school an Eco-Schools Green Flag Award, which is awarded by the Foundation for Environmental Education.
Phase one: The first project undertaken was the creation of a welcoming focal point to the school’s main entrance. Sovereign designed the area to incorporate generous sweeping curves of artificial grass, with groups of wooden seating/planters. Red toadstools were also installed to provide additional seating and to provide a splash of vibrancy in the school’s colour.
Phase two: Over the following two years, three further projects were completed. The first of the three was the introduction of outdoor play equipment to promote music and drama. A stage with a red, laminate backdrop was the first feature to be installed and was an instant success with the pupils. This was followed six months later by the addition of outdoor musical panels. These proved so successful that the following year, further musical panels were added.
Phase three: The nursery at the school had a small patch of grass to the side and back of its area which was out of bounds much of the time when the grass was too wet. Sovereign replaced this with artificial grass, installing a ‘mound’ and a poly tunnel at the same time.
School staff, governors and parents are delighted with the results; the children’s behaviour has markedly improved and staff morale is at an all time high.