The Impact of Play in a Pod

The Case of Craigour Park Primary School

Edinburgh, 2019

Craigour Park Primary School has taken a very special approach to Play in a Pod, setting up not one, but two pods full of loose parts. A pod for older pupils on a concrete playground and a pod for younger pupils in a grass area . The difference in the setting and content of the pods allows for different play experiences in each of them.

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A Whole School Approach

Craigour Park has taken a whole school approach to PiP, as all pupils have been introduced to loose parts play and enjoy weekly outdoor play sessions at one of the pods. Groups of mixed ages enjoy PiP sessions together, throughout their nursery and primary school years.

Building a community

At Craigour Park, the pod has become a shared resource for the wider community. The school has shared their loose parts resources with the after-school club and Barnardo’s playgroup during the holidays.  By sharing the Pod, more children are getting an opportunity to enjoy loose parts play and make the most of these resources all year round.

The Impact

  • Since the implementation of PiP, pupils are making a better use of the play equipment provided by the school and the outdoor play spaces available to them.

  • PiP has had a positive impact on the pupil’s behaviour and relationships. The use of the pod by children from different classes together has given them the opportunity to build friendships.

  • Children’s confidence and independence has increased through the use of the Pod. Pupils’ social skills have significantly improved, they are learning to share, negotiate and solve their own disputes through play.

  • As a consequence, the level of conflict in the playground has decreased, and there are significantly less disputes during PiP sessions than during other playtime. Teachers and PSOs that facilitate playtime have observed the development of pupils’ imagination as well.

  • PiP has allowed children to spend more quality time outdoors, giving them the opportunity to be physically active and gaining a new respect for nature

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P3 Teacher

‘It’s lovely to see them being creative, sharing and problem solving’


'Children love the pod, they continue to ask to go outside to play and are excited when they know it’s Play in a Pod day’.