King Richard III Infant and Nursery School's Playground Transformation
In the bustling city of Leicester, King Richard III Infant and Nursery School are justifiably proud of their commitment to providing a nurturing and inclusive environment. The school recently teamed up with the Signet Play team to develop and revitalise its outdoor play space, using a mix of thermoplastic playground markings and wooden outdoor play equipment.
To give King Richard III Infant and Nursery School the playground it deserved, we worked with Headteacher Lou Harrison to get an idea of her vision for the perfect playground.
The Site Survey
Our site visits and surveys are free and thorough, and we leave no stone unturned. There’s a lot to think about when designing a playground - aesthetic appeal, functionality and educational value, as well as cost and pricing, potential layout, installation and ongoing maintenance. With all of these in mind, our man-in-the-field, Development Manager Tom Mundy, travelled to Leicester for a chat and a hands-on look at the space. Tom and Ms Harrison discussed the needs of the pupils and the school, what were the ‘must haves’ and what was a ‘depends on the price’.
In-person site visits
Although we are able to schedule video chats or online meetings, we prefer to visit schools in person to carry out site surveys. This allows us to get a much broader view of the space and the surface, not just in terms of measuring and positioning your playground markings, but also to check for things such as cracked or damaged tarmac, or loose ground.
We are able to talk you through the creative and design elements of the process, and make suggestions on what might work best for your space and requirements. We can offer funding advice, suggest relevant grants and even help with applications. If you think of any other burning questions at any stage of the process, get in touch — our friendly team of experts are always on hand for a chat.
Project Details: A Symphony of Play and Learning
A Diverse Array of Playful Installations
As the space was intended for a varied age range, creating an inclusive and versatile space was very much the heart of the project. Meeting the diverse needs and interests of all the children is at the core of the school’s values, and it was important that their playground reflected this. This included designing areas that were safe and easy to use for the little ones in nursery, while also being exciting and challenging for the older children. We carefully selected each element to promote development among different age groups, making the playground a hub for imagination, exercise, and socializing for every child in the school.
Here’s a glimpse into the variety that now adorns the King Richard III Infant and Nursery School's playground:
We’re able to customise all our playground markings, whether it’s making small tweaks to a design, which is what this school did with Mimic-Me, or creating something entirely from scratch. We never start our manufacture process until clients have approved the design proofs. We always want to make sure that everyone is 100% happy before installation, and nothing is too big or too small.
Interactive Play Panels:
The 'Four-in-a-Row' and 'Tic Tac Toe' panel (not pictured) are more than just games; they are interactive learning tools that encourage strategic thinking and problem-solving, subtly woven into the fabric of play.
All these elements were thoughtfully integrated into the school's landscape, making a smooth and welcoming play area for all ages, interests and abilities.
Our team carefully laid out the pre-cut thermoplastic designs, which included a range of educational and playful motifs, designed to stimulate learning and physical activity. These markings were then expertly melted onto the tarmac, a process that not only secured them firmly in place but also ensured that they were slip-resistant and safe for the children's daily use. The melting process transformed these designs into a durable part of the playground, ready to withstand the daily bustle of energetic children and the unpredictable Leicester weather.
Mindful of the school's active schedule, we opted for term-time installation. This approach minimized disruption to the school's daily activities, allowing the children to continue their learning journey uninterrupted. Our adherence to safety standards and careful planning ensured that the installation was not just efficient but also seamlessly integrated into the school's routine.
The result was a refreshed playground that not only brought joy and color to the school grounds but also offered a safe and engaging environment for the children to learn and play. The new thermoplastic markings at King Richard III Infant and Nursery School are a testament to Signet Play's commitment to enhancing educational spaces with creativity, safety, and care.
As the project at King Richard III Infant and Nursery School nears completion, we think that the collaboration between the school and Signet Play has been a great success, and we’re proud to have been a part of their journey. The brand new playground is more than just proof of great design and careful installation. It's a lively symbol of the school's commitment to creating a fun and welcoming environment for all students to learn and be creative.
Although there’s still a little way to go before the space is truly finished, there’s building excitement among the school community.
‘We're really close to having the extra space we're looking forward to for the children to play in - not just our nursery children, but the Aftercare children in the spring and summer term at the end of the day.’
This captures the feeling of anticipation and eagerness for a playground that will be loved and enjoyed by all the children at the school, making their playtime even better all year round.
From the very first meeting to adding the final touches, the whole process was all about making early education more fun and enjoyable. The playground has not just made a safe and exciting place for kids to be active, but it's also encouraged their imaginations to run wild and sparked their curiosity.
Thank you to Ms Harrison and King Richard III Infant and Nursery School for having us.