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Primary school learnscape

This rural primary school contacted us, seeking design ideas to transform their small kinder yard into a ‘learnscape’. A pergola constructed during the National Stimulus program dominates this yard and the school’s limited budget meant its removal was out of scope. In our design, we included experiences in which all five senses could be engaged, i.e. smell (scented plants), touch (finger maze), hearing (water/ball pipes), sight (mirrored play panels) and taste (raised vegie beds). We also factored in the sixth sense: proprioception, i.e. the body’s ability to perceive its position in space. We brought proprioception into the playground by creating areas in which more physical activities like running, jumping and hopping could occur, whilst also allowing children to directly shape the spaces themselves (loose parts play areas). These experiences are further enhanced by stepping stones, a small ‘bridge’, and a Yellow Brick Road path. Knowing that many children love to experience a sense of seclusion, we included a tepee that allows them to feel that they are getting away from the class whilst remaining in the teacher’s line of sight. Children love tunnels too. However, excavating earth is costly. Ludovic came up with a cost and space-saving idea to ‘build’ a tunnel under a table in the pergola.