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Agility Equipment
 

 

 

We vary our designs according to the anticipated use.  Budget, maintenance costs, supervision regime, numbers of children and site aesthetics and customer preferences are all considered.  All of the designs comply with the EN 1176/7 safety guidelines.  Layouts for Primary Schools are invariably different from those used on village greens because of what we have leaned and Local Education Authority Guidelines that are usually in addition to EN 1176/7.  As part of the equipment manual for each playground we supply a risk assessment to help with drawing up the rules of use.  In our view, monitoring the dynamic use if the equipment is an important part of the overall safety.  Overcrowding and the children finding novel ways of using layouts can make equipment that complies with safety guidelines subject to more minor accidents than are desirable.

The sample project pictures below give a taste of the variety of schemes that we have completed.  We do not normally charge for site visits or the production of basic plans suitable for developing concepts.

Thatcham Discovery CentreThis playground was designed for 8-12 year olds and was completed in January 2000.  The Discovery Centre is an environment education centre based at a West Berkshire Country Park (the Thatcham Reed Beds Nature Reserve).  It is open to the public free of charge every day. It is a large play area with some low level 'trim trail' items leading to medium level 'multiplay' units and a large observation and climbing tower. There is disabled access to the play area with rubber and decking roads across some of the predominantly bark safety surface.

Various Primary School Agility Layouts.   Roofs are normally left out  of school layouts especially when they will be used by KS2 children. It avoids the children being able to climb higher than is allowed by LEA guidelines reducing the supervision requirement. Whether the equipment is low or medium level an integrated layout provides more variety of play than 'trim trail' lines. The basic agility tasks can developed with a range of materials. An African Charity Project was built with local materials to our design for a school and hospital community in West Uganda. Although many people in the village thought the children were too busy with work tasks to play, it turned out to be very successful. Our experience, in general, suggests that well designed play equipment has wide appeal across differing abilities. Less able children do not normally need separate equipment but may have differing supervision requirements, and normally should play in smaller groups. We have made these observations whilst doing safety audits for children with a range problems for example: children normally in wheelchairs, those using walking  frames, with balance and grip issues and autistic children. 

Warnford Village Play Area.  This is an example of a design that has been popular in rural villages. The tunnel and tower element increases the role play elements compared to the open school layouts. This style of layout has been adapted for use in many other village play areas as shown.  It has also been specified in schools for children up to KS1. In larger primary schools both the open layouts and the 'Warnford' style layout have been used for their respective halves of the school. 

We fit in village playgrounds items normally left out of schools for safety or logistic reasons for example: swings, slides, tumble bars and springers.

Welford & Wickham Primary SchoolThis an example of a bespoke project.  Agility equipment themed on a boat  Owing to a lack of space, the 'boat' was built into a rising bank with the main climbing equipment placed on top of the bank.  The side of the boat provides a bark wall and safety railing which increases in height as the fall height increases.  The front of the boat continues beyond the end of the bank to give a 'cabin' area for games.  It was developed from a concept drawing by the head teacher.  This is a small school so the reduction in capacity and supervision issues arising from the 'themed' design are less of a problem that they would be in a larger school.

Play Trains, Boats and similar do not normally have enough agility elements to be considered under this heading but do make good 'themed' seats and are useful for role play for smaller children. They can be included in village playgrounds to help keep the toddlers away from equipment intended for older children.

 

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