Platinum award ceremony

We held a special play assembly today, as Blue Coat received our Platinum level Play Award from Michael Follett, CEO of OPAL Outdoor Play and Learning. Well done everyone!

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Back to play!

DSCN1451The new term is underway, with new friendships being forged, new kit to play with, and new drains on the Infant Playground!
We also have two new members of staff and welcome Mrs Joynson and Mr Taylor to the Play Team.
Later this week we will be welcoming new Reception children into the Playground and supporting their first lunch time sessions at school. In the mean time, we have been taking advantage of the smashing September sunshine and stretching our legs on the school field every lunchtime.


Scrap Shed launch!

DSCN1119Blue Coat's new 'large loose parts' play facility, the Scrap Shed, launched today, with a special celebration event and ribbon cutting, led by our Future Leaders.
‘Loose parts’ are items and materials that children can move, adapt, control, change and manipulate within their play. They provide a high level of creativity and choice, as there are endless possibilities for how they can be used. Research has shown that the degree of creativity and inventiveness within an environment is directly proportional to the number of variables in it.
The items are diverse and include suitcases, plastic and cardboard tubes, tubs, tarpaulins, keyboards, phones, nets, handbags, hosepipe and more.
All scrap has been checked over before use and will continue to be regularly checked over and topped up.

Two slideshows below tell the Scrap Shed story - the first one details the 'making of', and the second shows the children at play with the scrap from launch day.

Platinum Play!

2 outdoor playWe are thrilled to announce that following a full assessment on Friday afternoon, Blue Coat has achieved a Platinum level award for the quality of our outdoor play at lunchtime. With a score of 91.7%, this puts Blue Coat within the top 15 schools in the country in terms of high quality play provision.
Our assessment was conducted by Michael Follett, Director of Outdoor Play and Learning CIC (OPAL). Michael is a qualified teacher and play worker, is a Trustee for the national charity Play England, and Play Adviser to the National Trust and the Football Association (FA).

Michael participated in a full lunchtime session, with a site tour to observe and interact with pupils and the Play Team, assessing the opportunities, environments and support we provide for play. This was followed by a in-depth audit session with the Headteacher, Play Coordinator and PTA Chair, examining all aspects of our play provision, including access, supervision, health and safety and maintenance, policy, leadership and participation.
Areas that recieved high praise were the inclusion of man-made and natural 'loose parts' play, improved engagement for girls, the significant reduction in behaviour incidents, high quality direct, remote and roving play supervision practices, and a whole-school approach to play involving Governors, Headteacher, teachers, support staff, pupils, families and the wider community.

Congratulations everyone! A wonderful result for what is now emerging as a real specialism for Blue Coat. Thank you to all who have supported the Play initiative. There are lots of exciting plans still to come!

Follow us on Twitter!   @Blue_Coat_Play

Colourful creations

DSCN0398The warm weather has opened a new play opportunity for the children, with dry playgrounds serving as giant outdoor canvasses.
Semi-permanent painted playground markings are relatively expensive and, after an initial surge of interest on their arrival, tend to quickly wane in popularity due to their static nature and becoming 'part of the furniture'.

An alternative is provision of large playground chalks. A less expensive solution, chalks offer more open-ended creative opportunities for the children. Recent ephemeral art activity has included free drawing, giant floor murals, character creation and storyboarding, printing and blending. Children have also drawn their own games; some traditional versions such as noughts-and-crosses, others are brand new games, created and refined with friends during playtime.
One quick rain shower and the canvas is clean again!
Take a look at some of the recent arty activity in this Chalk Gallery.

Head's Tweet

from Mr Ryan

A belated Happy New Year, everyone! We've hit the ground running and lots going on in 2018 already.

10 Jan 18 at 11:00am