Image of 2 timber cubby houses styled as a Fish n Chip shop and Farmers market. Installed at Derrimut Primary School in Victoria

A Grand Opening: Derrimut Primary School Celebrates their New Cubby House Village

Posted by Castle and Cubby on

Imagine a lively and bustling tiny town filled with colourful cubby houses, cheerful laughter and endless play. This dream has become a reality for Derrimut Primary School, a culturally diverse school in Melbourne’s west.

Together with the school leadership and Parents & Citizens (P&C) Association, Castle & Cubby have created an imaginative cubby house village for the whole school community.

Come take a look at the journey through ideation, design, build and finally to the grand opening of this now bustling tiny town.

What was needed: New playground equipment to spark imagination and unity

Derrimut Primary School was established in 2010, and with more than 700 students currently enrolled, the school is focused on offering different play spaces to cater to the varying needs of their students. When we were first asked to visit the school, the existing areas included open synthetic grass areas, a large sports oval, jungle-gym style playground equipment and a nature play area.

The school felt they were missing an element of imaginative play in the existing outdoor areas.They were aware of the research that shows imaginative play encourages social interaction between children and so they envisioned spaces that would spark creativity, interaction and connection.

We created renders of the design so the school leadership could easily see what it would look like.

Designing spaces for play-based learning

When the school reached out, we were thrilled to help bring their vision to life. During our site visit, we assessed their needs and pinpointed ideal locations for a play-based learning village and enhanced nature play area.

Our talented product designer, Sam, crafted detailed renders of the proposed playground across three sections:

Heroes zone - Featuring a bright fire station, police station, and vet clinic.

Food zone – Situated on decking, this area boasted food and café-style cubby houses.

Nature area - Transforming an underused space with A-frame cubby houses and a mud kitchen.

With these renders in hand, the school took their proposal to the P&C Association – and were met with resounding enthusiasm for the play and learning opportunities.

The build goes from design to done

With approval in hand, we started the process to bring the tiny town to life. To minimise disruption, we divided the project into stages:

1. We started with the nature area to add additional areas for exploration.

2. A concentrated weekend effort saw us construct the decking areas for the café cubbies.
3. On our last installation day we positioned the cubby houses on both the decks and flat areas.

From render to real life. We installed the project in stages to minimise disruption and keep anticipation levels high.

Derrimut Primary School Tiny Town officially opens

All that was left was to unveil the new play spaces. The student leadership team, alongside the entire school community, officially opened the Derrimut Primary Tiny Town with a ribbon-cutting ceremony.

This was such an enjoyable project to work on. Everyone involved was so enthusiastic about the process and genuinely excited about the prospect of reinvigorating the playground areas. And we hear from the school about how loved the cubby house village is and how it’s fostered engagement, creativity and social interaction among students of all year levels.

Maintenance to make the magic last

We understand that a project like this is an investment – one that deserves ongoing care. We've established a maintenance program with Derrimut Primary School to ensure these beautiful and functional cubby houses remain in top condition. Regular touch-ups and fixes will help maintain the sense of pride and care that students and the community have for their new play spaces.

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