Beach Babies Under 5s autumn term 1 dates

IMG 20160705 150954073The Play Beach at Blue Coat school field is open for special outdoor sand play sessions for children under 5 and their parents / carers.

Adult supervision is essential. Local parents, grandparents and childminders are all welcome. Buckets and spades are provided. School toilets are accessible for children.

Please dress for the weather! The sessions will still run on wet days.

Tuesday mornings
8.55am - 9.45am

11th September
25th September
9th October

Play Beach ‘Beach Babies’ sessions are free of charge. No booking is required. Parental / adult supervision is essential.   Please help keep the school site clean and tidy. No smoking or e-cigarettes. No dogs on the school site.

Any enquiries, please contact Mrs Murray via the Blue Coat school office.

The Play Beach was supported by Tesco Bags of Help, Big Lottery Awards for All and the Magnox Socioeconomic fund.

OPAL Platinum play

IMG 20160915 124353706We have some fantastic play news to share with the school community!

Blue Coat has achieved a Platinum level award for our commitment to outdoor play and we are the first school from over 300 Outdoor Play and Learning (OPAL) schools across the UK and Canada to score a perfect 100% on our audit. We were described by our assessor as “the best school for outdoor play in the UK”.

Over the last 4 years, Blue Coat has undertaken a whole school approach to improving outdoor play opportunities for every pupil, working alongside OPAL CiC. Blue Coat took the unusual step of employing a Play Coordinator to lead this initiative, working with the Play Team to ensure that all its 314 pupils reap the multiple benefits, including increased activity levels, development of social skills, and improved mental health.

We have worked with local business and charitable trusts to secure funds to transform our playground. Our site now boasts a 50 tonne sandpit, a ‘Dengineering Zone’, a 400m2 Mud Kitchen and a Scrap Shed. The children lead their own play and have permission to access sticks, rocks, mud and water, and are supported in learning to manage their own risks.

Michael Follett, Director of OPAL commented, "The whole school community should be immensely proud in what they have achieved. It is no exaggeration to say the Blue Coat is not just UK leading, but World leading, in its approach to providing for the developmental needs of children through play and fulfilling the requirements of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child Article 31.

The school’s dedication to ensuring every child has outstanding play opportunities, every day, with no exceptions has become a reality. In my 18 years of working with school I have never come across anything as good or as comprehensively integrated into every aspect of school life.

Play at Blue Coat has become an essential way that the school provides for the needs of the whole child. Behaviour management, activity, wellbeing, school ethos and values, community relations, creativity, agency, self-confidence and resilience are only some of the areas of life that the school has improved through their approach to play.

Blue Coat have pioneered the role of the Play Coordinator and demonstrated the value of having a significant and well-regarded post to manage both and strategic and operational aspects of play".

Mr Ryan reported, "We're delighted to receive this recognition following the commitment we made to play four years ago. Particularly at a time where larger primary schools such as ours face funding cuts that can jeopardise anything that's not seen as essential to the National Curriculum. Nevertheless, we do see play as an essential part of every child's development, More than that, we feel passionately that each child should have a right to high quality, fulfilling play. This award recognises that passion and belief."

"The school's success in this field is truly a team effort. We're fortunate to have a very talented group of professionals in our Play Team. But we also have to have responsible and creative children to make it work so well, along with the support and commitment of parents, staff and governors."

"Michael Follett (OPAL) has helped guide us to transforming our school from one in which segregated (Junior versus Infant) play and bare playgrounds were a daily reality for our pupils. Now, the children own and lead their play, providing a long list of benefits that should help secure their Future Readiness, including social and emotional development, risk management, creativity and spiritual development. We couldn't imagine play at Blue Coat being anything else now."

Family Field Day Aug 2018

P8090086It was great to see everyone who came along for a relaxed play in the sunshine on the school field. We had fun playing football, digging on the Play Beach, facepainting, pugel sticking (if that is a term!), biking and attempting to fly a kite! Plus lots of chatting and snacking, of course!

The Family Field Day is just one way that Blue Coat opens up its outdoor play spaces and facilities to the wider Wotton community. This year we have had another successful programme of under 5s Beach Babies events, welcomed the Baptist Church's Little Fishes group to the Play Beach, and held our first 'Playing Out' street-play event.

The next event is Tuesday 28th August, when we will be 'playing out' on the school driveway and car park from 10am - 1.30am. We hope you can make it.


Playing Out summer holiday event

DlsmekTW4AALuKWThank you to everyone who made the second ever Blue Coat Playing Out event. Once again, we cleared the school driveway and car park of cars and used the large sloping tarmac area for scooting, biking and triking.

Players also got messy with face paints, oobleck and bubbles. The pavement outside the school office was transformed into a colourful canvas with street chalks, and eagle-eyed children spotted Wotton Rocks hidden throughout the space.

Thanks to support from Gloucestershire County Council's 'Growing Our Communities' fund, we are pleased to announce that there will be 6 more Playing Out events through the school year. Dates will be published through the Blue Print newsletter and school Twitter account. These events are open to non-Blue Coat families so please feel free to share locally and bring family and friends.

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Playing Out July 2018

IMG 7518100 pupils, family members and friends joined us for our Playing Out session, where the Blue Coat staff car park and driveway were closed to cars and open for play.

This event was inspired by the Playing Out street-play movement, which started in Bristol and has now gained momentum and reconition nationally. The idea is to (temporarily) reclaim residential roads for communities to come together and play and socialise safely. If you are interested in holding your own Playing Out event see their website: 

The car park and driveway were perfect for scooting, biking, skateboarding, rollerbooting and even hover boarding! The slope of the car park was great for water play and the large tarmac surface gave us a giant blank-canvas for chalking. The trees allowed us to put up our Dengineering Zone slackline and hang-up some musical pots and pans. The path by Mr Carlton's shed became an archery range and we had some fab messy play with water beads and face paints (big thank you to Mrs Palmer).

Thank you you to all who came - these events are only a success if you turn up! The morning had a great relaxed atmosphere - let's do it again soon!

Head's Tweet

from Mr Ryan

Well done, everyone, on a slick and competitive KS2 Sports Day. Great to see so many parents in attendance!

05 Jul 19 at 8:39am