“The whole function of this area has changed. Tamariki constantly ask the teachers if they can work outside in these spaces.”
Previously a vacant grass area, the design has created a central learning hub for the school. The brief was to create a space that is conducive to breaking the traditional ‘classroom’ mould and extend learning out to the outdoors.
Principal Simon Williams said “The whole function of this area has changed. The space previously was too wet to use in the winter and uninviting in the summer. The space is now used all year round both during playtimes and for learning.”
At the core of the design is the school’s own ‘Pukekohe Hill’, which also reflects the school’s koru emblem. The new design provides various hangout zones for the children to spend time in and out of class, and the choice of materials means that this area will be practical in the winter months.
The space is fairly central in the school, Pukekohe Hill School’s principal Simon Williams said “The process of construction of this area had minimal impact on the operation of our school. The Playscape team were really accommodating of our need to continue with daily school life while construction was going on. The Playscape team co-ordinated with us to ensure any large deliveries or major works were scheduled after students went home. The whole area was secure for health and safety and the Playscape team worked with staff to ensure no issues occurred.”
“The tamariki really love the multi levels within the space and the various uses. The space is swarmed with tamariki running and jumping off the levels at breaktimes. Then it is transformed into a quiet learning space during class times. Tamariki constantly ask the teachers if they can work outside in these spaces. They can often be seen sitting on top of the hill quietly reading!”