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new outdoor gym equipment for Thomas Bullock Academy Primary School

Shipdham Community Raises Money for School’s Outdoor Exercise Area


Providing new outdoor gym equipment to support pupils recover from lockdown, both physically and mentally.

new outdoor gym at academy school

The Background

Thomas Bullock CE Primary Academy, part of Dioses of Norwich Multi Academy Trust, approached Fresh Air Fitness to provide an outdoor gym facility that would help their pupils recover from lockdown, both physically and mentally. The community had seen the negative impact lockdown had had on the children and funds were raised by DNEAT-run Academy, Shipdham Parochial Fuel Allotment Charity and Friends of Shipdham Schools to support the school, bringing their vision to life.

The Challenge

The priority for the management team at the school was to provide a gym in the fresh air that was enjoyable and exciting to use, so that children would want to use it regularly. The school wanted to inspire the children and teach them the importance of exercise for both physical and mental health.

Children from the student council and eco-council were also involved in the decision-making process and so collectively the new outdoor gym was planned, identifying products that would meet their needs. “Our ethos is to build a community of children who love the outdoors and exercise. We have noticed that children are keen to get outside more having spent time couped up at home during lockdown.” Mrs Shannon O’Sullivan, Headteacher

The Solution

The 5-piece outdoor gym includes a variety of pieces that, together, work the whole body and major muscle groups in numerous different ways, improving strength and fitness. By concentrating on double pieces, two children can exercise together, face to face or side by side, allowing them to talk and laugh whilst being active, boosting enjoyment and in turn mental wellbeing. Final selection included a children’s double air skier, double air walker, double seated leg press, arm and pedal bike and a rider.

“We are grateful to call those who are involved in bringing this exciting outdoor fitness area to Thomas Bullock. The impact on our children will be positive both physically and mentally.” Oliver Burwood, CEO of Diocese of Norwich Education and Academies Trust (DNEAT)

Our pupils are excited to play on the equipment as we teach them how exercise plays an important part in their physical and mental fitness


We are very pleased to grant money to help buy this wonderful exercise equipment for Thomas Bullock Church of England Academy. This equipment is an exciting addition to help the children in their physical health and develop their love of exercise.


FOSS are so happy we got to provide this equipment for the children.


The Benefits

  • The school’s new outdoor gym is already boosting physical activity and bring joy to the children, supporting their mental health.
  • The positive impact of the new outdoor gym lifted pupil’s morale from the very beginning. Harry in Year 6 said: "It has been so exciting to watch them install the equipment."
  • Children are already benefitting from the gym equipment. One pupil, Ella said: “It makes you fit and healthy and can help you to re-focus on your work.”
  • The double pieces are working incredibly well for the children. Leo said: “I am really excited by the air skier because it is fun, and I can chat to my friends at the same time.”
  • Having the gym in use during play times as well as PE lessons is known to improve focus and attention back in the classroom. Toby said: “It will help me in the afternoons to be mentally focused and prepared for more learning.”
  • The equipment can be used by all pupils, of all physical abilities, promoting a lifelong love of exercise and all its benefits for the whole school.

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