Strong, Plastic Crates Required
The children would love more plastic crates to play with. The bottle-crate kind are best as they are super strong but other crates are good also! If you have any or know of any companies who may donate some - we would be very grateful!
First Aid Incidents down by 1/3!
First aid incidents are down by around 1/3 since introducing OPAL play! In the month before we launched our new break times, 154 incidents were logged on our digital system (CPOMS). During the month directly after, this had dropped to 103!
We want to reduce this even further so we have introduced more risk-assessing assemblies and sessions to teach children how to check if their play is 'too risky' and how they can improve their creations to reduce this risk. We have already witnessed children having really sensible conversations around making things stable and checking they are safe. Our children are very receptive!
We have also reinforced the importance of washing hands after they have finished playing with the outdoor resources. Children are well aware of this anyway, but it never hurts to keep up the message. If they eat their pack-up outside, they are instructed to wash hands on the way out to dinner - eat their dinner first, then play. On the tidy up 'triple whistle', they are encouraged to wash hands again then so they are ready for learning when the final whistle goes.
We will continue to have regular play assemblies to keep training children in various areas of play.
More resources please...
The only disagreements we are seeing at breaktimes, are around lack of resources. We need more! Things in hot demand at the moment:
Whilst the above are proving popular at the moment, we welcome ANY resources you believe have play value - as long as they are not sharp or are likely to shatter. Either drop off next to out of school club (near container) - you may drive right up to it. Or, if the they are not weather proof, to the school office.
Many thanks for your continued support.
The HSE (Health and Safety Executive) promotes risky play!
Of course, it is always a slight worry to parents and to staff who work with children when they are engaged in what could be described as 'risky play'. We are programmed to try and stop anything which poses any kind of risk. Recent research and reports has shown that this is not preparing our children to make their own risk-assessments and overcome problems and challenges. The HSE agrees with this, stating that play which carries some risk is not only allowed, but should be actively encouraged. Children, by law, have a right to play:
“That every child has the right to rest and leisure, to engage in play and recreational activities appropriate to the age of the child and to participate freely in cultural life and the arts."
Even after such a short amount of time, we have seen playground problems almost disappear, first aid incidents dramatically reduce and children being much happier being outside! The only disagreements have been around there not being enough resources. We are always on the look out for more play resources. Please consider donating to school if you are throwing things away which have play value!
Below is a link to the HSE report on why risky play should happen in schools.