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New Outdoor Gym at Penistone St John

Penistone St John Primary School


Celebrating the opening of their new outdoor gym, with PE lesson and training sessions for all the children and staff.

Children using outdoor gym equipment at Penistone St John

The Background

Penistone St John Primary School wanted to expand their outdoor active space for children. They felt an outdoor gym would be the perfect solution, fully supporting their ethos of making learning challenging, accessible and most of all fun.

The Challenge

The school had an area which was unusable for most of the year due to the ground being heavily waterlogged. Many years ago a timber trail had been sited here, but was deemed unsafe for the pupils as it degraded rapidly in the sodden area. The school wanted to recover the area and locate the gym here.

Key to the success for the outdoor gym project was to ensure the area would not become waterlogged, enabling pupils to use it all year round.

Our Solution

The area received a complete transformation. The entire area was excavated and replaced with a strong stone sub-base. This elevated the ground to ensure water wouldn’t pool around the equipment. This base was covered with a rubber mulch a popular safety surface that provides a non-slip natural looking floor that is also permeable to allow rainwater to drain through.

Finally, a 6-piece, 12-person user outdoor gym was installed providing an area which can be utilised 365 days per year The outdoor gym was made up of a variety of equipment, making the outdoor gym inclusive to children using wheelchairs and for children of all levels of fitness.

Teacher and Pupil Training

To support the opening of the outdoor gym, Fresh Air fitness ran a training session for teachers and pupils to learn how to use the outdoor gym equipment.

The children love their new gym equipment! They have been using it every day and they simply glow with fun and excitement.

We are particularly impressed with the Disabled Arm and Pedal Bike that can be used with a wheelchair. We always try to ensure that every pupil is able to join in with all activities at the school and this equipment does just that. They simply roll up to the equipment and away they go, it’s wonderful.

The new KS2 outdoor gym is now in use and everyone is having a great time using it!

The Benefits

  • This inclusive PE facility will allow every child in the school to participate in physical activity.
  • Those using wheelchairs can roll up to the Arm and Pedal Bike and build muscular strength in the legs and arms, whilst boosting cardio fitness.
  • Children’s Seated Leg Press and rider to build strength in arms and legs.
  • Cardio Equipment including a Double Cross-Country Skier, Arm & Pedal Bike, Cardio Combi and Elliptical Cross Trainer will provide a workout for the entire body, raising heart rates building stamina as well as muscular strength.
  • Training session has meant all children, teachers and support staff are confident in the use of the gym equipment.
  • The gym can be used all year round for PE lessons, general play and for sports clubs.

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Primary School Outdoor Gym Equipment