Student designs transform city playground

Edinburgh’s smallest playground was transformed last week as staff and students from the University gave it a major overhaul.

A team of from the Edinburgh School of Architecture and Landscape Architecture and Moray House School of Education were challenged to design and implement a range of creative renovations to Preston Street Primary School.

The project was part of Innovative Learning Week, a week-long programme of events replacing regular timetables with opportunities for students and staff to develop new skills, prepare for employment and work in the community.

A splash of colour

The team worked with parents and teachers, and environmental charity and social enterprise Greenworks, to create new places to hide and climb, and adding a splash of vibrant colour to the playground.

They also built a range of outdoor furniture and play equipment, based on a wish list created by pupils.

It’s been fantastic to see the scale of community involvement in this project. The improvements have made a huge difference to the overall feel of the space and provide new opportunities for pupils’ imaginative play and learning.

Maureen AllanPreston Street Head Teacher

On-going project

Parents and teachers formed a Playground Development Group in 2013 with the aim of improving the playground, which was mostly tarmac and surrounded by a busy road.

The University has been working for more than a year with the group to enhance the area and develop outdoor learning and teaching.

It is hoped the week-long project will enhance the playground even further, making it a place where children can enjoy outdoor learning and play.

We are thrilled to see this project come to fruition. The enthusiasm from our students is fantastic and they are really enjoying working with the community. I’m sure pupils will be thrilled at the unveiling and we look forward to continuing our work with Preston Street – developing the playground further in the future and carrying out Moray House’s research in outdoor learning.

Dr Ola UdukuProject Leader and Reader in Architecture