In addition to other items highlighted through School Improvement Plan 2016:17 and actions to support Numeracy, Reflective Reading, Growth Mindset and our new HT’s transition into Pencaitland and East Lothian, the Parent Council had a few carry forward items from 40th Anniversary and new developments to explore after issues raised by Learning Council (pupils) and Parents / Carers around play and the environment for playing at PPS.
So – we created a short questionnaire for the pupils, with the pupils – and shared this in March 2017.
We created links – and a working group team of PTA, PC and other parents in Spring 2017.
We are exploring ideas which would benefit the pupils, develop important skills and improve enjoyment of time in school, with a focus on inclusion, well-being and practical.
With Haddington Cluster excited to have their own Loose Parts Play Development Officer, and other schools in East Lothian reaping the benefits of creating wonderful innovative approaches, it’s only right that PPS looks to build on it’s excellent reputation of yesteryear too :).
Maybe this: Transforming Primary School Playtimes and Playpods, but we will see what consultation with the children brings!
What can parents and carers do now?
If YOU have ideas to improve playground and inspire break-times, please share them.
Speak to a Parent Council member, or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Some ideas will be shared with the pupils after Easter, examples of play landscapes and experiences in other schools. A mapping or Blue Sky exercise will be planned also to find out where the children like to play most, and doing what. It may work as a wish and stars type of consultation, but we really want to look at how the areas are being used now, and what the children would like.
Play Spring Mission
The school is also considering how to approach improvements, especially with money in very short supply. In Feb/March the children have been given more open use of the tarmac area of the playground. No more ‘invisible line’ dividing infants from middle and upper school. Parents and close family members were invited to join the pupils on lunch break time, to support play with ideas of games played as children.
The PTA and other parents planned for time in Easter break to work on the sandpit area and new sandpit toys are being bought from PTA funds.
Colour and design for the playground can be reintroduced in simple ways – and this will also start to happen in summer term, following ideas discussed and agreed at the time of the 40th Anniversary.
Research states that the happier and healthier our children are, emotionally and physically, is an enormous boost for their learning and well-being. Playing in different age groups is incredibly important for social development of children and if we can build this into more intergenerational experiences – our community is strengthened too.
Free play – the children’s own choices over their time – needs to be recognised as the building block for life and so PPS is embracing play as key to education also.
Maybe PPS will end up being blogged about too.
Planning for outdoor space development needs thought, insight, expertise and fundraising…watch this space! 🙂