Playscape project

“Playscape” is our playground re-development project creating a nature based school playground for BNPS children to enjoy, imagine, create and explore. Since 2010, a team of volunteer parents and staff have been implementing a master plan document  designed by Green & Dale Associates in collaboration with the Playscape Team, School Council and the school community. To share our concept of a natural Playscape, we have collated a selection of inspiring images from around the globe and creative ways we plan to incorporate art into the playscape.

What is finished?

Four stages have now been completed entirely by volunteer parents and staff using funds raised entirely by the school community. These stages show the extent of the student and parents’ long term commitment to the project and a great example of what can happen when a team takes ownership of a project. This work would not be possible without the time and dedication of a handful of parents who form the Playscape Committee. Their focus on keeping the Master Plan active and planning working bees is to be admired and the whole school community thanks them for their contributions. There are many, many people involved but a few have gone above and beyond the duty of a volunteer. Without them, these projects would not have progressed as easily.

Area 1 –  Seahorse Cove, Wood St - between the Canteen and the Art Room including the school entrance

It’s an ambitious design of a “shipwreck deck” that has crashed into a seascape of rope bombed coral structures near the Prep area. The Canteen deck is built on a steel frame designed and welded by parent Greg Scott and decked by the school community. Bought equipment of log rolls and flip bars are placed within safe fall zones in between the coral. The open-grassed area opposite the Year 1 entrance has been maintained and landscaped around the perimeter with bush shop huts, weaving wall and sculpture poles. The square stage seats have been designed as seating for lunch, a stage to perform and an outdoor classroom to learn. The main entrance to the school has also been re-paved using bricks signed by previous students. The remaining funds from the 2012 fete were used for this stage although additional fundraising was required to complete the entire area.

Area 2 – Creek Island

This area integrates existing teas trees with natural paths, a big yellow slide and the biggest sandpit we could manage! Logs and rocks were strategically placed to provide interesting places to walk and explore. An oversized story chair by Frothy Betty Productions is a great place to pretend and listen. This area took six weekend working bees for the parents to complete with many parents, such as John Pryor and Dean Stokes donating many extra weekends to complete the project. The entrance to Creek Island is lined with totem poles cut by parent, Liz Norman, and painted by the students under Liz’s supervision. They symbolise the energy and creativity in our school community and the pride to show what we can achieve.

Area 7 – Art Room precinct

The children’s totem poles continue to the pathway around the Art Room. The outside walls of the new art rooms are decorated with organic shapes designed by the 2012 Year 1 levels and then painted and enhanced with plastic bottle tops collected by the school community over a 10 month period. They add a great splash of colour and a strong advert for the “reduce and re-use” campaign.

Area 8 – Outdoor Fitness Zone

Using  the $10,000 prize money from the Bank of Melbourne Local Hero competition, an Outdoor Fitness Zone was installed in 2015.

Area 9 – Rope Play/active area

Using funds generated by the 2012 school fete, the Playscape Team was able to purchase a purpose designed Rope Play structure installed in December 2012. This equipment gives a physical element to the school’s playground and caters for children that like to climb. The Rope Play soft fall has been ringed by large mudstones creating a path of imagination as they become seats and stepping stones.

Musical Sculptures

Acoustic musical sculpture instruments made from new and found objects are strategically placed around the new playgrounds.  Created by Frothy Betty Productions, the Music pieces have been designed for the not-so-sporty child to visit and experiment during free play. There’s the Finger Drums made from new gas bottles and the Gong a thing using found percussion pieces. Just behind the Foundation rooms is another musical sculpture by Frothy Betty Productions; the musical doors – a set of three doors with doorbells and knockers. Next to these doors, adding further interest and intrigue to the space, is a pebble encrusted tunnel. The pebbles were painted at the 2012 Fete by students, parents and visitors to the school. Take a moment to read the names and  smile at the stories the pictures describe.

What’s next?

With the ongoing support of the school community we will be able to complete the master plan and create a truly inspiring nature based playground

Please contact the school office if you would like to get involved.