As builders in Pakenham, we’ve worked on our fair share of schools over the last 35 years and can safely say that there are certain elements that make a schoolyard. Whether it’s a particular type of playground, or, a material that works well for playing ball games – our experts are here to list six essential elements that every schoolyard should have. Let’s dive right in!

1.     A playground

High schools don’t really need playgrounds – however, primary schools and schools that offer prep – year 12 should have at least one playground and possibly a second depending on the size of the school and cohort. The playgrounds should have monkey bars, small vertical climbing activities, swing sets and of course slides. The area around the playground must consist of an impact absorbing surface that complies with the AS/NZS 4422:1996 standards code. 

Examples of this include mulch/tanbark, rubber or synthetic grass surfaces. Under no circumstance is concrete or compacted Earth with grass acceptable as a base for play equipment. Our Pakenham-based builders can ensure the area around your play equipment adheres to the correct codes.

2.     Synthetic grass

Synthetic grass is a highly desirable material for high schools as it offers students a place to sit and enjoy the outdoors without having to worry about dirt or other particulars that come along with organic grass and soil. It also comes in handy when constructing areas that are intended as sit-down zones and will be a lot easier than introducing organic grass.

Add some four – six-seater picnic benches around the area with sails hanging high above (perfect for letting the right amount of sun in and cutting out some rain where possible) and you’ve got yourself a functional outdoor sit-down zone. Well-installed synthetic grass also has perforation underneath it – allowing for excellent drainage when it gets wet.

3.     Concrete agora

An agora is a schoolyard staple and can provide the basis for many ball games as well as a gathering area for assemblies or important occasions. Marking the agora with simple, coloured lines for games like bat tennis or downball to be played is highly advised as it will encourage the students to make use of the space. Concrete is also a fairly durable material that is available in a variety of types such as exposed aggregate – which boasts extra grip and extensive customisability.

4.     Asphalt surfaces

Whilst concrete is a great material for outdoor surfaces – asphalt is also quite popular for outdoor sporting areas as it offers fantastic grip and things like tennis balls and basketballs also bounce quite well off of them. It’s also a fairly cost-effective material. Asphalt basketball courts are popular options if you’re looking to use less concrete or want to break it up a bit. This way, you gain the aesthetic value of contrasting materials and also acquire a more effective surface for a sport to be played on.

5.     An oval

Whether it’s a small or large one an oval is essential for all schoolyards as it really allows the students to play some of their favourite sports and relax in the sun. The benefit of larger ovals is that they allow for more students to do their own thing. They also don’t have to necessarily be in the shape of an oval perse but can be rectangular, for example. They’re also highly valuable and beneficial to have for inter-school sporting events as they could allow you to host.

6.      A communal gardening patch

This element is generally aimed more at primary school students but there’s no reason why high school students can’t get involved either. Having a dedicated communal gardening patch encourages the students to learn more about growing and caring for organic things in nature. As they get older, they can be encouraged to bring in their own seeds from home and work on the garden in an extra-curricular fashion.

Are you looking for builders in Pakenham?

S & B Lamble Builders are professional Pakenham-based builders with 35 years of experience in the commercial building sector. We’ve worked on countless school construction projects and understand the features that really make a successful and prosperous one. Our high calibre build quality and efficient work ethic are just two of the qualities that make our service one of the best in Melbourne.

So, if you’re looking to build an outstanding school complex – get in touch with us by calling (03) 5941 8135 or filling out the contact form on our website.