H. Gerardus school and SWBS Pork in ter Apel
"Anyone can have a schoolyard like this. You just have to want it!"
"These are our wishes; dream big and just make a plan for this schoolyard".
Ramona van der Velde, the headmaster at H. Gerardus School and SWBS Pork in Ter Apel, expressed her desire to create a dream schoolyard for her students. Yalp Netherlands was tasked with the job and designed a space that included a Freerun Parkour, Lappset Memo Interactive play pillars, and various games. This combination of equipment not only increases movement intensity but also provides an appropriate level of challenge for students from Group 1 to Group 8.
"We encourage digitalisation, and because of the maths and language games on the Lappset Memo Interactive play pillars, this device fits well with our teaching." - Headmistress Ramona van der Velde
"When we look at differences from the old playground, we see clearly that there is just a lot more movement. In the end, that's what it's all about. The new square has a lot of variety, from interactive to traditional play equipment. The children enjoy playing different games on the Memo. Through My Yalp, it is very easy to change the games. Moreover, the playground has been used to its maximum extent since the installation".
10 minutes of outdoor play every hour
Children play outside at St Gerard's School for ten minutes every hour. Ramona: "Weather or not the children enjoy going outside. I see that after playing outside, the children can concentrate better in class".
Following the success of this schoolyard, Yalp Netherlands was also allowed to furnish the schoolyard of SWBS Pork. This schoolyard has a panna cage, freerun setup and natural play.
Fewer conflicts thanks to the new schoolyard
Both schoolyards are accessible not only during school hours but also after school hours, providing a social function for the community. This positive change encourages children to spend their free time outside instead of sitting on the couch with their iPads.
"This is just a very positive change. Instead of children sitting on the couch on their iPads after school, they now go outside. There was less space in the previous squares, and the squares were bare. As a result, the lower and upper classes at SWBS Pork did not go outside simultaneously. With these new squares, this problem has been solved. We also noticed that there were fewer conflicts in the schoolyard. Because there was less to do, the children were much more dependent on each other, which could still lead to fights. Now they play and have a lot more opportunities. That makes for much less fighting, so that's a very nice bonus."