A WASTE dump area at the back of Bayswater Primary School has been transformed into a nature playground inspired by students’ imaginations.
The playground, called Imaginature, was built by staff, students and the Parents and Citizen Association’s gardening committee over a three-year period.
It costed $15,100, with funds raised by the P and C, the school, a Rio Tinto donation and grants from Telstra Kids and Yates Landcare.
Main features include a tyre stairway, a creek, sand kitchen, a fort, an amphitheatre, logs, boulders and plinths, a loose play parts shed, forest of poles, a frog pond and more.
Committee member and landscape architect Elenaor Reuvers developed the ideas into a concept plan.
Committee co-coordinator Alex Ellis said the area needed to be resurveyed, fenced and have soil remediation.
“It started with loose parts play,” she said.
“Lots of teachers commented that their play was a lot calmer and kids were coming back to classrooms calmer because we opened it up to Years 1 to 6.
“I live quite close so I can hear the play and it was totally different to when they ran around and played tag.
“There was a lot more screaming and high-pitched sounds, whereas now, there is a lot more play (involving) planning.”
Principal Steve Hovitch said the playground focused on the three stages of play – innocent, structured and mature play.
“You’d see kids with a partner only and you’d see a large group of kids from Year 6 down to Year 1 all together,” he said.
He said teachers were working on integrating activities into the playground and would look into incorporating science, technology, engineering and mathematics elements in the future.
The playground will be officially opened on November 9 at a morning tea event.