Minimising risk and maximising play with play area refurbishment at DUCKS

With the existing KS1 playground in need of updating, DUCKS saw an opportunity to transform this outside space while completing building work on their new classrooms.

Key Achievements

  • Complete play area refurbishment
  • 1,260 sqm of landscape artificial grass installed
  • Site levelling and perimeter drainage installation means no more ‘wet play’
  • Delivered on time during school holidays, ready for the new term
  • New play area used daily for play, sport and learning


The Challenge

DUCKS is a coeducational infant’s school and kindergarten, part of Dulwich College and situated within secure grounds just a short work from the main college campus. With a challenging, engaging and fun curriculum, pupils excel academically and enjoy specialist teaching in physical education, music and languages.

DUCKS is committed to being a healthy school and pupils are encouraged to make the most of the stunning outdoor facilities on offer. Twice weekly P.E. lessons are delivered where pupils develop important skills in motor control and sport while learning a healthy approach to competition, teamwork and sportsmanship.

The former Key Stage 1 play area on-site contained old wooden play frames that were no longer being used by the children, with a surface that was prone to flooding and becoming slippery.

The Solution

When undertaking expansion work on campus to construct new KS1 classrooms, the outdoor space was compromised further. The school recognised that the space needed to be revitalised to provide a new, safe and enjoyable outside play area for pupils, worthy of their brand-new classrooms.

S&C Slatter were already well known to Dulwich College, having delivered a comprehensive hockey pitch refurbishment and improvement project on the main campus. Following this successful collaboration, the school approached our in-house Play division to deliver the same artificial turf expertise for DUCKS’ new playground.

After undertaking a site survey and taking into consideration the school’s objectives for the space, S&C Slatter’s Play division discussed the best surface and drainage options to provide a safe, durable, outside space suitable for both sport and play.

Our experts removed the existing surface, levelling the ground with regulating stone for stability and introducing French drains around the perimeter of the site to ensure that water would not pool on the surface. A new artificial landscape grass surface was then installed, providing a safe and durable synthetic grass for enjoyable playtimes and a performance suitable for P.E. lessons.

The Result

Utilising the school holidays, the S&C Slatter team worked in close collaboration with the school – and contractors who were building the classrooms on site – ensuring that the play area refurbishment was delivered on time, ready for the new term.

When speaking to Jim Hudson, Director of Projects and Facilities at Dulwich College, he explained that the new play area has been a great success with both pupils and staff:

“There’s not a single day it hasn’t been used since it was installed!”.

The transformed outdoor space is used each and every playtime, as well as for dedicated P.E. lessons – and has proved particularly useful during the coronavirus pandemic. The vast play area has been split into 4 separate quadrants, to allow pupils to continue to enjoy outside learning, play and P.E. in their dedicated classroom bubbles.

The landscape artificial grass provides a natural grass aesthetic in keeping with DUCK’s surroundings and enviable outside space. Perhaps most importantly, the new drainage and all-weather surface mean that not a single wet-weather day has caused flooding or slipping, meaning no more cancelled play!

S&C Slatter’s dedicated Play division has returned safe and enjoyable play to KS1 pupils at DUCKS, providing an all-weather multi-use surface fit for play and sport – maximising safety, learning and fun.

Dedicated In-House Play Division

Slatter Cricket & Play is a specialist division of S&C Slatter with an exceptional heritage in building cricket and play facilities, dating back to the company’s formation in 1991.

Projects range substantially in size, complexity and application but all continue to embrace and exhibit the same attention to detail and commitment to outstanding personal customer service.

Call 01635 34521 or email to talk to our experts.