Alma Primary School – Enfield
Built in 1898, Alma Primary School in Enfield teaches pupils from the local Ponders End area who come from culturally diverse heritages.
Approximately half of all the pupils attending Alma Primary School live in the four high rise blocks that are situated close by, and many others come from the maisonettes adjacent to the school. This means that many children do not have easy access to open play space. With this in mind the Playgarden had to incorporate enough play elements that it would challenge the children each time they use it. It also had to blend into the natural green environment and incorporate as many natural features as possible.
Alma School was one of the first playgardens in the UK, to install a complex climbing frame. The huge climbing frame challenges the students to get from top to bottom, side to side, in and out… the list is only limited by your imagination. The cargo netting tests the children’s balance and coordination skills to the max.
Different textures have been used on the playgarden including both sand and wood. A fantastic water feature including a water wheel has been built into one of the sand pits encouraging naturally inquisitive children to discover engineering from this early age!
• Physical activity is promoted with generous free space for scooting, biking, running and skipping etc.
• Sand and water nurture scientific skills as children build and experiment with sand and gain understanding of the flow and control of water.
• Several zones necessitate communication and negotiation for most effective use, developing social and interpersonal skills.
• Sensory elements provide stimulation and help children gain understanding of the world they live in.
• Stepping logs, boulders and slide support the development of a child’s balance and physical awareness.
• Planting and insect tower and trapdoor support better understanding of nature, specifically mini-beasts.
Equipment: Water pump, Archimedes Screw and water channels, climbing structure
What the client said…
“Being in an urban area we wanted to build a play area that maximised the available space. We wanted something that would encourage the development of social, personal and emotional development of the children at this crucial age. The new playgarden gives plenty of opportunity for interaction with other children whilst at the same time offers many problems solving scenarios. It has been a great hit with the children”