Skip to content ↓

Primary school receives substantial investment for Early Years Outdoor Play Area

Thorpe Primary School located in Netherton, Peterborough, has received a substantial £150k investment for a brand-new Early Years Outdoor Play Area.

The primary school, rated ‘Good’ from Ofsted and is part of Peterborough Keys Academies Trust (PKAT) is overjoyed that the works will start over the summer holidays ready for the new term in September.

Miss Emma Anderson, Head Teacher of Thorpe Primary School said: “We are so excited to have finalised plans for our new EYFS outdoor learning area.  It will be a fantastic addition to our school.  I believe that outdoor education is a key area for early years, providing children with physical and emotional benefits, as well as great learning and exploration opportunities.   Giving children the choice to be outside is a powerful tool and we cannot wait to see our children problem solving, imagining and collaborating in our transformed area.”

Dr Ian Young, CEO of Peterborough Keys Academies Trust said: “This investment underlines our commitment to ensure that, as a Trust, we have outstanding outdoor learning environments for our youngest children. Thorpe Primary School is the second of our schools to receive this investment, following a similar project at Ravensthorpe Primary School last summer.”


Rhian Neville, Early Years Lead said: “The Thorpe Early Years Outdoor Area has been designed to ensure all children in our Nursery and Reception classes can access high quality learning experiences outside in almost all weathers. The children will have access to a wide range of areas, including stages, water play, sand pits, open-ended construction, mud kitchens and mark making areas. The resources and areas planned will allow children to lead their own learning, use their imagination and work alone or in groups.”


She added: “When designing the space, it was important that the areas were open-ended and could be adapted to respond to the needs and interests of the cohorts each year, as well as having lots of open space for children to move freely and in different ways.  A large emphasis has been put on developing gross motor skills, with access to climbing and balancing equipment and a large purpose-built road way system. There is progression between the Nursery and Reception playgrounds, as well as a central gross motor space where the children of different ages can come together to play. It is a really exciting development for the school and will benefit the children of Thorpe for many years to come!”

Luke Banner, Head of Sales and Development from Pentagon Play said: “Pentagon Play are excited to be working with Peterborough Keys Academies Trust and Thorpe Primary School to develop the outdoor learning and play provision across both their Nursery and Reception spaces. We have been able to combine our expertise in educational play with a clear vision from the Trust and School to design an engaging environment that focuses on open-ended, autonomous learning where children are provided the tools and independence to pursue their own natural curiosities and interests.”

The design creates a dedicated ‘outdoor classroom’ that is an extension of the indoor spaces where children can explore with water, sand and mud be creative with stages, playhouses and dens and get physical with active equipment including log climbers, forest trails and towers.


It is hoped the new space will inspire, encourage, and spark a genuine love for learning, and feel privileged to be able to play our part in improving the outdoor experiences of Thorpe’s youngest pupils, both now and in the future.


Luke said: “I am looking forward to the installation getting underway at the beginning of the summer holidays; ahead of the very best part of my job returning to see the children engaging with and enjoying their new space!”

With thanks to Pentagon Play for their designs and photographs.