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13 August 2018

Transforming Play at Bristol Schools this Summer

While the children are off enjoying their summer break – the talented team of designers and crafts people at TouchWood Play are busy transforming play spaces at four separate schools across Bristol, to provide an exciting and active return to school for the children in September.

TouchWood has secured the four contracts, worth almost quarter of a million pounds, with Colston’s School in Stapleton, St John’s Primary in Clifton, Dolphin School in Montpelier and Colston’s Primary School in Cotham Grove.

As with all TouchWood’s play schemes, each project is bespoke to the particular requirements of the school and its environment, but all share the desired aim to encourage children to be more active, explore their imaginations and create greater social interactions with others while at play.

At Colston’s School in Stapleton, the independent Co-education School, their play requirement is for TouchWood to create a free-flowing natural play landscape to take children seamlessly from indoor to outdoor, from their newly built nursery and reception building.

TouchWood’s team is designing a series of interactive play features to complement the school’s natural environment; including water cascades, sandpits, tree hammocks and monkey bar swings. The team are also re-imagining an old play feature in the junior school, creating an exciting, large wooden Ship installation.

Dolphin School in Montpelier has a brand new purpose-built school building which has a court-yard play space. To maximise the scale of the outdoor area, TouchWood’s team is designing a highly innovative set of natural play features which are interchangeable and moveable to provide a variety of play setting options. These include Den Making facilities, performance and story-telling spaces, sand play areas and clambering features to encourage physical challenges, increased activity, problem solving and greater social interaction.

St John’s Primary School in Clifton also has newly built school buildings and the exciting new interactive play space around it is to include water play activity and a series of balancing and climbing features to deliver a highly positive experience for the children during play time. There is also an opportunity for pupils and parents to build one of the features together- a den building frame that looks like a stick insect!

For the fourth project at Colston’s Primary School in Cotham, which is celebrating its 70th year in 2018, TouchWood will be holding one of its signature “Designing for Real Days”, when they will hold workshops with staff, parents and pupils, so they can all help to bring ideas together and create the new vision for their new play space. TouchWood’s team will then translate their ideas into bespoke and interactive play features.   The aim will be to create a play trail which will encourage a culture of positive, active living for the children, where they will engage in a range of informal fun and physical play opportunities. TouchWood’s team then plan to design, build and install the new features during the Autumn term.

Commenting, TouchWood’s Chairman and Founder Joe Cooper said, “We are delighted to be working on these very individual and exciting projects across Bristol this summer.  Each project is unique, but all share the same desire to encourage greater physical activity for their pupils. We are passionate about achieving this through the creation of highly innovative, bespoke play features which capture the children’s incredible imaginations and make exercise and activity a highly positive and exciting experience.”