In July 2014, as part of the shake-up of Bedfordshire’s school system – which saw the county change from a three tier system to a two tier one – Stephenson Lower School took over Harrowden Middle School. The resulting, combined institution was given the name Kings Oak Primary School and instantly became Bedford’s largest primary school.
Overnight, the number of children at the old lower school grew from 358 to more than 900 children with 152 staff. As part of the transition, the school introduced a bespoke, creative curriculum and began investing in new facilities – such as specialist classroom areas.
As part of improvements to its outdoor areas, the school decided to create a new playground and play areas. The school wanted to introduce a colourful, playful environment where children could freely run around and explore in a safe and secure space.
As the children ranged in age from five to 11 years, the space also had to be accessible and relevant for all ages.
Working together with sports and playground equipment manufacturer HAGS, surface contractor and SAPCA member DCM Projects was tasked with creating a safe play environment, which would also inspire and encourage learning.
DCM Projects used eight colours of wet pour and two colours of rubber mulch – a durable surface with a variety of uses, ideal for play areas and public parks. The product was used to create a variety of graphics over four areas, including a roadway with markings, leaf designs and intricate patterns around the play equipment area.
In total, DCM provided an area of 444sq m with a specialist surface at Kings Oak.
“What makes this project different is the variety of surfaces, vibrant colours and playful design which was used to create four visually stunning play areas,” says Beverley Holden, DCM project’s director.
Mark Grace, managing director of HAGS, added: “We have been using DCM Surfaces for many years now and always find the team to be very knowledgeable, professional and willing to go the extra mile to ensure the job is completed to a very high standard within the set time.”
Established in 1995, DCM Projects has become a multi surface contractor revered for its flexibility when it comes to outdoor surfacing.