© Underdog Heavy Industries 1969-2011
College Green Nursery School
We have run a multi-stage program at College Green
Nursery School with four separate development phases.
Each phase has commenced with extensive input from
the school to help shape the finished playground.
Initially the school had an unshaded, scrubby area which
they wanted to develop into a diverse, highly sensory
to see how it looked. Shade was
important for this playground as well as dividing the
space up into distinct areas with multiple paths between.
In the first phase we changed the levels of the space and
built a sensory tunnel, multi-level ball run, sandpit, several mosaic planters, a play tower and a cluster of allotment beds which
the children use for growing vegetables each year. The ball run allows
pupils to place balls at the top level
and see them race through a variety of pipes to pop out at the bottom
level: you can see this in more
detail in the structures section. The play tower spans the levels and
includes a hidey-hole under the
stairs, a shop/cafe role-playing counter, and a prose poem describing the
ethos for the garden, whilst the first
floor has panels with a dramatic inversion effect according to whether they
are viewed from the inside or
outside. After the first phase the school had gained a completely usable
In the second phase we made a wild pond area, with a safe viewing bridge across the pond, a dipping deck, a bug tower and
planted only native species in the pond. This area soon attracted a wide variety of fauna and is now a thriving ecosystem. The
second phase also included replacing the boundary fence with a vibrant, interactive construction
with texture mazes, musical features and stencilled artwork.
In the third phase we brought areas at the front of the school into use by creating a quiet story-
telling area and a shelter for parents by the main entrance. This utilised casts and designs made
by the children. We returned for a fourth stage to add functional decoration to conceal brick
walls and old fencing as well as building mobile dividers to make the playground usable by local
stay-and-play groups. Overall we have completely transformed all outside areas of this site.