With this in mind, we prepared an initial sketch design that was presented to teachers for their feedback. We then invited the children to give us their ideas the main ones being the wish for a treehouse and slide these were incorporated into the final design. We then prepared a 3D model that was presented to the children in the form of a fly-through movie on the giant screen during a special assembly. The reaction of the children was overwhelming and the designers had to stop their presentation and just let the movie do the talking. Work started on the playground a couple of weeks later. We carefully demolished the toilet block and fenced off the areas during the works so that the school could maintain access across the site safely and operate normally at all times.
Throughout the playground, we introduced paving in brick, natural stone, coloured safety surfacing and resin bound gravel in contrasting colours. The different textures provide immediate interest. Paths were laid to meander throughout the playground linking the various spaces and so encourage flowing movement and imaginative play. Using these techniques to define key areas we were able to create a range of spaces for both active play and quieter areas for social interaction and study. In the centre of the playground, a raised deck and playhouse has been located around existing trees and a large, grass-covered mound using waste material from the excavations has a tunnel running through it with viewing dome in the centre.