Drake Primary School and Little Pirates Child Care

Google Services

Google Translate

Google Translate

Google Search

Google Search


Play at Drake

Drake and Little Pirates Play Project

At Drake and Little Pirates we understand the vital importance of play as part of learning and child development for the pupils in our care.  Our site posed a number of fundamental  challenges;

  • not enough space allocated for wet weather play  
  • hard standing around the new school used as a running track with a very narrow path to the infant playground 
  • no shade in the summer
  • no defined outdoor area for Reception classes

We needed to:

  • provide for wet play times, especially with the increase in pupils in upper juniors
  • slow down the flow from around the main school building to allow for different kinds of play as well as running
  • shelter for rain and the fierce sun in hotter months
  • provide a full time outdoor play area for children in Reception classes


In phase 1 of our play project we worked as a school family to understand the needs and importance of play at Drake and Little Pirates. Together with Jess Milne and his team from Design Build UK, we wrote our Play Vision. This shapes how we challenge ourselves to provide this key part of school life for every child.


Next, we undertook a feasibility study and consultation process with children, staff and families to understand how we wanted to develop our grounds.


Children felt that whilst there were plenty of opportunities to run and play sport already in place, time for quiet and other types of play were missing. Following the survey, children and adults voted on their preferred features. The children designed little tower houses and walkways and most exciting-a zip line and giant ship! Children named their Feasibility Study- 'Let us Fly'. 


As part of phase 1, the construction of an outdoor classroom to promote learning outdoors and support teaching and learning in the Forest School area was completed in the summer of 2019. 


In phase 2, we have used the feedback from the initial project to work with the team at Pentagon and designed bespoke structures to closely reflect the children's designs. 


For phase 3, we will resolve the issues on the long field: 

  • poor soil and grass that cannot take the wear and tear from children's play
  • more gardens and growing linked to our allotment projects, science and sustainability
  • continue to increase capacity for 420 children to have a positive play time