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Hillcrest Normal School

The Ground
One of Hamilton’s oldest primary schools, Hillcrest Normal School, celebrated its recent centenary with a new middle school playground. Designed for seven and eight-year-olds, the new play area reflects the school’s proximity to both the Waikato River and Hamilton Gardens. 

On the site was a very old and well-loved playground, which no longer suited the needs of the Tamariki. With many hands on deck (the school is a two minute drive from Playground Creations HQ!), the old equipment was removed and significant base prep laid to ensure the site was future proofed with proper drainage.

The Creation
A collaborative approach helped to bring this new playground to life. Students were consulted on the equipment they wanted incorporated into the design, while staff worked closely with Lynley Fife, Director and Head Designer from Line and Design to capture the vision the school had for the new environment.

A minimalist style was the preferred choice, allowing space for Tamariki to move in creative ways, complemented by equipment that challenges the students. This included round trampolines, long monkey bars for racing, a carousel for collaborative play, and a pendulum arch swing.

Traces of the old playground remain in the recycled timber used as log edging around the garden, which also acts as a stepping apparatus for balancing and mindful movements. The synthetic Artificial Turf safety surfacing provides a soft landing pad underneath, while rubber wet pour spheres have been laid in a pattern to reflect the nearby Waikato River.

The Play
Hillcrest Normal School’s overarching vision is to Grow Creative Learners from Within and this new playground reflects that. Providing opportunities for Tamariki to live the school’s SHINE values (Succeed, Honour, Imagine, Nurture, Explore), this play space encourages the magic of play to shine through.

“We can't recommend the team at Playground Creations highly enough. They worked closely with us to take a concept dreamed up by our students and bring it to life. No problem was too big, or too small, and their attention to detail and communication was outstanding. Thanks so much to you all at Playground Creations.”

Andy Peart  |  Deputy Principal  |  HILLCREST NORMAL SCHOOL

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