Beauvoir National Cathedral Elementary School, Washington DC, USA
It's great when children voluntarily return to your school at the weekend!
The Beauvoir National Cathedral Elementary School playground is used by children of different ages and thus there are different degrees in challenge level inserted.
The topography with steep slopes and cuttings as well as the existing old trees were a challenge but also specialties of the site that the planners made good use of. There is a Pyramid Tower with a Tunnel Slide that crosses through the ground to a lower terrace. An experience of height and speed as a reward for the children after the struggle of climbing up.
The aim of the play planning was to offer the sheltered upper class children with their age-related very different needs a graduated but ultimately great challenge. In this way, they can use the free space every day for years without ever getting bored. A look through the school's webcam confirms that this has been achieved:
In the Pyramid Tower with its tunnel slide that disappears into the ground and reappears one terrace further down, the children experience height and speed after the ascent as a pleasurable alternation of effort and reward.
They shimmy and balance on the climbing structure or just hang out to watch a basketball match next door. For boys and girls alike, the three tree houses, whose connecting bridges wind their way between the trees at eye level with woodpeckers and squirrels, are a test of courage and a welcome hiding place. And on weekends, fathers give their offspring the final kick with a powerful push on the cable car. It goes without saying that there are also swings, towers with a climbing wall and bridges, as well as houses for the role play of the little ones.
Surprisingly courageous is the school's pedagogical concept, which explicitly promotes personal responsibility and learning - even through occasional bad experiences. After an acclimatisation phase, students and teachers have learned to cope with the high level of challenge that is high by American standards. On school-free days, when the playground is open to the public, it becomes a destination for outings.