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Play Space Award

Returning for 2023 presented to the outdoor playground environment and spaces in nurseries/primary schools where innovative equipment creates opportunities for learning.

2023 Winner: Merstham Primary School, Surrey

Merstham’s new £95k play areas was designed to synergise communication and physical development in order to help improve speech and language, balance and co-ordination. An array of bespoke features and timber play resources have been built to inspire more outdoor play for children in line with the EYFS curriculum.

Chapel St. Leonard’s Primary School , Lincolnshire
St Mary’s Catholic Primary School, London
De Lacy Pontefract Primary School, West Yorkshire
Thomas Fairchild Community School, London

2021 Winner
Kentmere Academy and Nursery, Rochdale

Kentmere Academy has invested in its outdoor facilities to promote fitness, learning outdoors, wellbeing and mental health. All classes nursery - year 2 have outside classroom areas to help promote learning and independent study / challenge areas. It provides a playing field, sports court, outdoor playing equipment including soft floor play, gym equipment, games for fun and learning, a reading hut, track, polymer climbing frame, forest area, outside growing beds, scooters, and sports equipment. Children also use this space after school at the Reading Enrichment Club, supported by ‘Reading Ambassador’ students.

Avanti Park School, Somerset 
Claydon Pre School, Ipswich 
Springhead Park Primary School, Kent
Edith Neville Primary School, London

2019 Winner
Putney High School, London

Pupils at Putney shared ideas on how to design an environmentally-friendly, ‘natural’ space where they could take risks and challenge themselves. The space features trapeze handles, acrobatic bars, scramble beams, clamber nets, a raised tree-house den and tipi platform for creative role play. The Science Garden provides a natural environment for socialising, reflection and relaxation and supports a commitment to outdoor learning and protecting the environment.


Allerton C of E Primary School, Leeds
Youngsters at Allerton CofE Primary School will be able to enjoy outdoor play and learning in all weathers thanks to a £110,000 new purpose built play area. The new construction features conventional playground equipment, a vegetable plot, an environmentally approved tree planting project, a giant sand pit complete with pulleys and measures, a sensory water feature, a messy kitchen, bespoke accommodation for chickens and rabbits, and a grass three piece suite.

Myland Primary School, Essex
The PTA at Myland Community Primary helped the school raise almost £16,000 towards a new play area with various events including school discos and a Smarties challenge where children were asked to earn 20 pence peices to fill Smarties tubes with. The new KS1 area provides a bright, colourful space and a more challenging area for the children. Unveiled by Colchester’s High Steward, Sir Bob Russell, Myland is now looking to raise money for the KS2 playground.

Dell Primary School, Lowestoft
Pupils at Dell Primary School in Lowestoft were amazed when two dinosaurs, Squirt and Bubbles arrived to celebrate the completion of their new Early Years play area. The outdoor learning area has raised beds to grow vegetables, a climbing frame and a road for larger imaginative play. With an all-weather sand house and a solar powered water feature, each class has a guinea pig to care for and they can also collect eggs from the rescue chickens that live in the play area.

Marjory Kinnon School, Middlesex
Marjory Kinnon School’s Eco Garden gives pupils an opportunity to learn about horticulture and the cultivation of plants for cooking. It has a dedicated community allotment space for use for outdoor learning by the children during the school day but also for use by the families of pupils. This includes a greenhouse and a poly-tunnel for year-round growing, as well as easily accessible raised beds and a potting area for pupils.