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Hull Collegiate – School Transformation

Project Overview

Timotay were invited design a new Reception play area at Hull Collegiate. Timotay were one of eight companies who all had to have our proposals in before December. From the eight Timotay made the final three and then won the bid after a number of meetings with the school, and governors.

The site was home to two playgrounds that that met at two different levels and a pond area that the setting wanted to revitalise and introduce back into the school activities.

The brief was clear where the client wanted zoned and open ended activity. In addition to this, the area should be natural and challenging. It must also include 6 main key areas of learning

  • Personal, social and educational
  • Communication, language and literacy
  • Mathematical development
  • Knowledge and understanding of the world
  • Physical development
  • Creative development

A key item also was a shelter to extend out from the newly refurbished classroom. The playground needed to include story time and outdoor class areas, physical. Mixed material experiences with water play, muddy play and sand play.  There needed to be a forest school appeal within the scheme. Each year the school includes a forest school trip for reception. The grounds at Hull Collegiate are set within natural wooded surroundings. The design of a dedicated area would be valuable to the school and allowed that continued experience for each child.

The pond area needed an outdoor classroom area and nature exploration and we would provide this within our design proposal.

The Outcome

The brief was understood and met, and the design and final project included

  • Forest School Areas
  • Tracks
  • Mounds
  • Climbing
  • Artificial grass
  • Tunnels

Client Feedback

“We met with a number of playground design companies at the start of journey to discuss our ideas and aspirations for our new early years outdoor area, however, Timotay stood out right from that first meeting. Their understanding of child development and how children play was a cut above the other companies and this was of course important to us but it was also their fearless acceptance of every idea or suggestion we threw at them that also made them the company for us. No idea was too challenging or too big or even too crazy! They attacked every design challenge with an open mind and a wealth of experience to offer us a bespoke solution.

We were certain that the look and feel of the project had to be as natural looking in its atheistic as it could be and in keeping with our ethos of risk taking, forest schools and outdoor learning principles and we were quick to see that at Timotay they agreed and that their past designs and current projects mirrored that too.

Our project build started in November and the children have been gripped as they watched it evolve outside their windows. It was a large area and a big undertaking but we have been truly blown away by the hard work and commitment of the site team who have worked tirelessly through relentlessly bad weather conditions and diminishing light each day to produce an outstanding area with a superb finish. The end product is phenomenal, a playground of dreams and we are so pleased and so proud to have it and for that we cannot thank Timotay enough.”


Antje Kell, Head of Hull Collegiate Prep School, said:

“We are already seeing the positive impact it is having on their wellbeing and learning.  The space both inspires creativity and curiosity and enables children to assess risk.  It is the perfect environment in which to deliver an Education with Character – an education which inspires and challenges children and ensures their time at school is happy and fun.

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