Abington Vale Rooftop Family Space
Background of the organisation
Our charity exists to help children and young people in Northampton develop the skills, capacities and capabilities they need to lead happy, healthy and fulfilling lives. We seek to do this through the provision of an inspiring outdoor space which will be accessible to the whole community and the delivery of an exciting programme of extracurricular activities. The charity was set up by staff and family united by a shared commitment to transform the outdoor space available at Abington Vale Primary School in order to create a rooftop family space that provides a much needed outdoor play facility for the local community.
Our project: Rooftop Family Space
The exciting rooftop family space will be situated on the top of Abington Vale Primary School Stirling Campus. Abington Vale Primary School Stirling Campus is no ordinary school building. It was converted from a three-storey office block and opened in 2013. The internal building of the school follows Scandinavian design principles – with large open spaces that support collaborative working, hands-on learning and imaginative teaching. However, because of the history of the school building, there is limited outdoor space. This greatly restricts what the children can do – both during their precious free time during the school day (before school, during break time and lunchtime) and outside of school (after-school, weekends and school holidays). The only outdoor play space available is a small tarmacked area used only by the younger children. It is grey and uninspiring and too small for any meaningful activity to take place within it. It gets cramped and crowded. There is no fixed equipment to encourage the children to be active or promote imaginative play. There is no green space for the children to interact with nature. In addition, because we are located in the built-up inner city of Northampton, there is very little outdoor space in the local area. We know that families, neighbouring schools and community groups struggle to find suitable outdoor space. This limits local people’s access to physical activity and play opportunities.
Our project will transform the rooftop into a multi-use outdoor play space suitable for children, families and local groups. It will provide for a range of different interests and activities:
Active zone –A multi-use games area with surface markings and a running track so the children can play football, basketball, netball, cricket, dodgeball and a whole host of other team games. And lots of space for the children to run around!
Nature zone –An urban growing area, with raised beds and planters, where the children will plant flowers, herbs and vegetables. Bug hotel habitat, bird boxes and observation area. Messy area with water, sand and mud play. Children will discover the wonders of nature.
Reflection zone – A quieter and tranquil area with planters, bench seating and a reading den. Perfect as an escape from the hustle and bustle of city centre life.
Our project will be no ordinary play space. It will be the place where children create their own worlds, exercise their imaginations and play games together. Children will explore, build, grow, get messy, make new friendships, be active and express themselves freely. It will be the place where families have the chance to experience the outdoors together. It will inject life and colour into our community.