Can Quality Outdoor Provision In Schools Improve Attendance?

Can Quality Outdoor Provision In Schools Improve Attendance? - Asks Terry Gould, experienced and respected early years and primary consultant.


From the moment the structure went up attendance went up with it !!  Children  began coming to school earlier to get more time on the challenging structure and guess what …it was many of the boys as well as  some of the girls. It hadn’t been planned as a strategy for boosting attendance and it wasn’t in any NPQH programme or Ofsted suggestion handbook but it worked. Now the school has a thriving playground area before school begins .It has further developed provision through the  introduction of  “wake up and shake up” sessions and a host of other activities and games designed to appeal; and that only take place before school. They have also included a huge performance stage area and a large shelter structure so that parents and siblings and children can shelter if the weather takes a turn for the worse.

Could you think out of the box like this school did  and consider what you could do to your  invest in your outdoor area that might attract children into school a little earlier and not only will you be combating disaffection and improving attendance but also helping to keep the children fitter and healthier and probably happier  through greater amounts of physical exercise, challenge and enjoyment !!

“This case study goes to show the validity of  Pendlewood’ s claim  to be more that just a company supplying outdoor play products products but  an active partner in developing  outdoor spaces that really do support learning and development  in motivational and measurable ways ”  Alan Pendlewood Managing Director Pendlewood  

Terry will be now be writing a monthly BLOG  for the Pendlewood website every month. Next month it will be on “Powering ahead through developing  a quality, sustainable  EYFS outdoor learning environment” Through  a linked competition we will be giving away FREE  six of Terry’s  acclaimed book   “Effective Practice  in Outdoor Learning” which was recently given a prestigious  silver award by the Practical Pre-School  school organisation

If you would like your school to receive features from our next blog – please click HERE and send us your details


Season’s Greetings from all @ Pendlewood!

Everybody at Pendlewood would like to thank all our wonderful, loyal customers for all your support throughout 2009, which has turned out to be the most successful in our company’s history!

We would like to wish all of you a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Hopefully we will see you all again in 2010, for what we hope is going to be another record breaking year for us.

Thanks again for your fantastic support.

Alan and the Pendlewood Team

There's Snow way we won't have a great festive period

There's Snow way we won't have a great festive period

... and not a wise man to be seen

The Christmas Story with a Pendlewood twist

Government member Phil Woolas MP visits Pendlewood

Leading MP and Minister for the North West of England, Phil Woolas has become the latest big-hitter to pass through the Pendlewood gates and see our success story first hand.

All at Pendlewood HQ were delighted to welcome Oldham based Mr Woolas, who also acts for the government as the Minister of State for Borders & Immigration. The appointment was a direct result of the recent visit of Rosie Cooper, our local MP for West Lancashire, when she opened our expanded premises. Extremely impressed with what she saw that day, Ms Cooper kindly arranged to return with a member of the current government, so that they could see our progress and commitment to our customers and the local community first hand.

Alan, Phil and Rosie talking business

Alan, Rosie and Phil talk business

As you can see from the surrounding pictures, both Mr Woolas and Ms Cooper were treated to a full tour of Pendlewood’s recently expanded premises. They then discussed various topics with our Managing Director Alan Pendlewood including procurement policy, the recession and its effect on local businesses. Following this the political duo met with other Pendlewood staff to help gain a full understanding of the journey a Pendlewood product takes, from inception to completion. There was then a special presentation that took place too, when they met with your workshop apprentice Danny McMillan.

18 year-old Danny joined Pendlewood on our apprenticeship scheme earlier this year, following completion of of the Prince’s Trust Team Course earlier this year and he has already evolved into an accomplished craftsman. A file showcasing his work was shown to the politicians.

Danny shows his portfolio to Phil & Rosie

Danny presents his portfolio to Phil & Rosie

Alan Pendlewood, Managing Director, commented: “Danny is proof  that we give local youngsters a chance to get on the career ladder and realise their potential. In just 6 months he has trained up to a level where he can make some fantastic products and if he continues his hard work then he will rise right to the top in our expanding company. It’s really rewarding to help local youngsters on the right path.”

The success of the visit thrilled Alan too. He observed: “It is fantastic that word of Pendlewood’s ongoing progress has reached the Houses of Parliament and in particular politicians of the status of Phil Woolas. To have a leading member of the government come to our headquarters and see for themselves how we are successfully dealing with the recession, as well as viewing our ambitious plans for the future, is a real feather in our cap and makes that grin on my face a little wider.”

Congrats to all on the Pendlewood “Marry-Go-Round”!

There have been broken hearts a-plenty at Pendlewood HQ this summer as two of most eligible (ok, only eligible) single ladies got married!

Love was in the air as our Office Manager Julie tied the knot with her long time beau Rob in June. A honeymoon to Mexico followed, where the newlyweds topped up the tan and avoided bird flu.


Shortly afterwards our designer Jenn followed in Julie’s footsteps and made an honest man out of her fiance Neil. 2 weeks crusing round the Mediterranean followed for the lucky couple.

Our designer Jenn on her big day

We’re happy to report that married life is suiting both girls just fine, with both appearing even more content and friendly than before!

Pendlewood Managing Director, Alan Pendlewood, cooed: “I’m a hopeless romantic at heart so it’s fantastic to see the ‘Pendlewood gals’ tie the knot.  They both had amazing wedding days and looked simply divine. Both Julie and Jenn have really worthy husbands and everyone here at Pendlewood is delighted for them and wish them many years of happiness.”

As you can see from the kindly provided pictures, both our brides were in dazzling form on their big day!

MP formally opens Pendlewood’s expanded premises!

Rosie poses with Pendlewood workers

Rosie poses with Pendlewood workers

Pendlewood’s new expanded headquarters were formally opened last week and it was a special occasion for all involved.  We managed to attract our local MP, Rosie Cooper who had the distinction of formally declaring the new unit open for work!

After the grand opening ceremony, Ms Cooper – Labour MP for West Lancashire since 2005 – was treated to a full tour of the expanded premises where she got to meet Pendlewood workers and take a look at our groundbreaking project for Forefield Primary School in Merseyside that is currently being worked on before it heads for installation.

Following this Rosie and Pendlewood Managing Director Alan Pendlewood sat and discussed a variety of issues including the recession, local business and Pendlewood’s ambitious plans for the future. The undoubted success of the event can be seen from the surrounding pictures.

Rosie Cooper MP officially opens our new unit

Rosie Cooper MP officially opens our new unit

Alan was thrilled with the day and was extremely impressed with his local MP. He enthused: “I was really pleased on three accounts. Firstly, it was just fantastic to have the new unit formally opened; it felt like we had taken another crucial step on our journey to the top.

“Secondly, I was delighted that Rosie Cooper got to see that a local company is still managing to thrive in such economically challenging times.

“Finally, it was a pleasure to have a sharp mind like Rosie visit. Politicians’ public images have taken a battering this year but if they all showed Rosie’s commitment to the job and her constituents as well as her ‘can-do’ attitude then I suspect the publicity would be much more positive.”

Welcome to the All New

Hi everybody

Welcome to the Blog section of our brand new re-launched!

Although our old site was a long standing favourite with customers, we believe that the relaunched site is easier to navigate and better reflects our ever growing range of products. It’s also much more colourful – and dare I say it – fun to browse around!

As you can probably tell we have split the site into 4 sections, which will make it easier for you to find exactly what you are looking for:

School Playgrounds
Early Years
Outdoor Classrooms & Shelters
Street Furniture

Please check this blog on a regular basis! It’s where we will update you with all the latest news about our products and initiatives – it’s also going to be a great place for you to leave us with any feedback you have about the new site – we are always looking to improve so your input is – as always – highly valued.

We hope you enjoy it as much as we do!