Bentley Heath C of E Primary School

Solihull - West Midlands

Built: October 7, 2018

“Excellent service delivered on time. Children are loving the equipment and variety of challenges. The new play areas have been very well received by the whole school community.” E. Evans – School Business Manager

What were the reasons for developing your outdoor space?

“Keeping children entertained at lunch time and to replace previous equipment that was coming to the end of its life. Increasing activity during the day in line with the new initiative for an hour exercise. Meeting curriculum demands for an outdoor environment.”

How we transformed the play area to provide outdoor learning opportunities for the children:

Early Years Area:

Within the Early Years area, the new equipment was kept low level but with enough challenge for the children. A Balance Weave, Inclined Log Balance Double and a Balance Traverse were included to create a mini-trail.

The area was surface using Rubber Mulch safety surfacing overlaid onto an existing wet pour area that had since been out of use due to trip hazards. The surfacing included a blue river design.

To complete the area for the children we laid a Number Grid and Alphabet Dragon thermoplastic ground graphic.

KS1 Area:

This area was created along the original footprint of the previous trail. We removed the old equipment and installed the following units: Walk and Stretch Posts, Wobble Bridge, Log Balance Double, Log Balance, Log Crossing, Log Roll, Traverse Wall Single, Rope Balance and an Overhead Trapeze. The trail was designed to provide varying steps of challenge from start to finish and was located amongst the existing trees to blend in with the natural environment.

The trail was surfaced with Rubber Mulch safety surfacing to allow all weather access through the trail and protect the ground underneath.

KS2 Area:

The school wanted a higher degree of challenge than the KS1 trail for their older children but still a graded degree of challenge. The trail had different entry and exit points to allow more choice for the older children and the units chosen were: Log Snake Weaver, Rope Traverse, Tunnel Crawl, Rope Weave, Overhead Trapeze, Up & Over 1.5m, Chin Up Bars and Parallel Bars.

This trail was also surfaced with Rubber Mulch safety surfacing to allow all weather access through the trail and protect the ground underneath.

Peace Garden:

The Peace Garden project was one of the biggest transformations within the project, the original area was an unused overgrown place divided with concrete and chain link fencing. We transformed the area by laying new turf throughout and installing new natural timber fencing. Within the area we provided some seats and planter benches. The school chose their Trinity symbol as the design for the Rubber Mulch pathway.

How the children will benefit from the new play area:

All the areas now provide children of all ages plenty of new decisions to make and more opportunities to play and learn. They can use the active and physical equipment to increase their physical activity during the day which will improve their health and fitness. There are places to challenge themselves by traversing, balancing, climbing, crawling, stepping and stretching whilst developing their coordination and upper and lower body strength.

There is also a more peaceful place now for reflection and contemplation. They can improve their social interaction skills by sitting on their new benches with friends and relax away from the hubbub of the busy new playground. Storytelling and outdoor lessons come alive too within the Peace Garden.

What were your main reasons for working with EPE over other competitors?

  • Good value for money.
  • Consultation process and knowledge of representatives.
  • Personal project management.

Would you work with us again?


Would you recommend us to other schools?         



Solihull – West Midlands

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