Play at St Teresa’s
‘Children need the freedom and time to play. Play is not a luxury. Play is a necessity.’
Kay Redfield Jamison
Did you know that in British Primary schools children spend 20% of their school day at play
(1.4 years of their school life)?
Changes in society such as: heavier traffic; busier lifestyles; less areas for play; technological advancements and awareness of risk have led to ‘play poverty’ for today’s children. This makes their play opportunities at school even more vital.
At St Teresa’s we want to invest into this time so that children have a far better play experience. We are working with a company called OPAL, which stands for Outdoor Play and Learning, to support us in doing so. (http://outdoorplayandlearning.org.uk/)
We recently were awarded the OPAL Platinum Award for out outstanding play provision! This means we provide some of the richest pay experiences in the UK.
Our aim at St. Teresa’s is to provide pupils with a rich, varied and satisfying play experience.
During lunch play our playgrounds are integrated so that pupils have a wider choice of places to play as well as activities to choose from. Year 2-6 are able to move freely between the two school playgrounds during their lunch play. The larger playground is a ‘sports zone’ and offers activities like football, basketball, table tennis, skipping, tennis, gymnastic and dancing. Our second playground has an adventure / imaginative element and is known as the Discovery Zone. This is where pupils use ‘loose parts’ and their imagination to create their own games / play experiences. ‘Loose parts’ are things like fabric, tyres, cardboard boxes, crates, pots, pans, pallets. These are used to create dens and games.
At St Teresa’s we see our role as play providers and our job is to facilitate opportunities for children to encounter and manage risk for themselves in an environment that is as safe as it needs to be rather than completely devoid of risk. In this way pupils will become more resilient, adaptable and keen to try new experiences. Children should be provided with opportunities to challenge themselves and also to experience successes and failures. At St Teresa’s we are committed to providing these experiences for our children in a managed way.