Controversial I know, but our installation teams are now booked up throughout the six weeks holidays so another couple of weeks of school holidays would have been really useful for us to rejuvenate or in some cases create from scratch, innovative play spaces for schools and nurseries throughout England and Wales.
But here’s the thing, we carry out installations 50 weeks a year, actually only completing 15% of our yearly installations during the summer holidays. We do this causing minimum disruption to children and staff, creating minimal noise and mess and with working practices that are agreed in advance with the school to fit in with their daily routines. We do this during SATs exam periods; we even do this during OFSTED inspections, and have been for over twenty years.
The children love being part of the process, schools often have the forethought to ensure the student council play a large part in the decision making including selecting the equipment and the appropriate company to carry out the work, so for them not to be able to see their project take shape over the days or weeks of construction does seem to be a little unfair. I think the children actually appreciate the end product much more, having seen the mechanics of what is involved in the type of work we are involved in, not to mention having a greater understanding of foundations and construction.
I have recently been involved in two projects where the children played a part in the process from start to finish, culminating in actually plotting the final positions of the new equipment and helping the team dig the holes. The sense of ownership and feeling of achievement when we went to photograph the same children playing on the equipment once the play area was complete was palpable.
We create play areas that can be used all year round, all the year round; you still have time to get the ball rolling for a September installation.