© Underdog Heavy Industries 1969-2011
Heathlands Primary School
We were asked to develop a playground and wild area
for the reception year. The space was long and narrow
running along the edge of the school building.
The brief included a bike track, sandpit, play tower
with various physical challenges, water-play, music and
sound play, growing and digging beds and a wild area.
We built a large play tower with a bridge, spiral access
ramp, ladder and stairs.
After noting the movement of the sun across the site we
made intricate coloured windows which throw
constantly changing projections onto the structure.
We involved the children in the design of the spiral
ramp and drew around a number of them to produce
the coloured silhouettes you can see in these pictures.
As the school had a special interest in music we consulted with the head and music teacher to construct a music area
at one end of the playground. The centrepiece to this is an eighteen note plosive aerophone played with bats; you can
see it in the image to the left. Other instruments were added; tuned according to the suggestions of the school.
Planters for growing vegetables and flowers, and a digging area were used to provide definition to the bike track.
We transformed the entranceway of this playground
into a wild/natural area involving the planting of a
willow dome and a mixed native wild hedge. We built a
bug tower to help provide shelter for a variety of
insects and give the children a good opportunity for
Heathland School has a great
which includes a
slide-show of this project being constructed.
we built a nautical sandpit with a bit
of bite. This has fine detailed
paintings whilst the shark’s
jaws have a very practical
purpose; closing to cover the
sandpit and prevent it
becoming a magnet to