Welly Shed launch and more play news

welly sheds fullWhat a great week for play at Blue Coat! Firstly, we had the exciting news that we came second in the Tesco Bags of Help public vote. This means we have won £10,000 to support our Play Beach giant sandpit and outdoor play area! Many, many thanks to all who voted. We can now look forward to this summer and the continued development of the school field for play.

Secondly, we launched the Welly Sheds and Wellies for All initiative. This initiative allows children to access more of our outdoor spaces for a greater part of the year. There is space for a pair of wellies for every pupil, so if you have not joined in yet, then you still can.

Coming up is the next Family Forest School: Spring Special! Sunday 17th April, 10 - 11.30am. All are welcome. Please fill in your reply slip and let us know if you are coming.

Blue Coat scoops National Playwork award

PLay Team award march2016We are thrilled to announce we have been awarded a National Playwork award at the 7th Annual Playwork Awards.

The category Playwork in other contexts celebrates organisations that are not primarily playwork settings, who are using playwork innovatively, and with strong benefit to young people.

Our Play Coordinator, Mrs Murray, collected the award at a glitzy ceremony on Eastbourne Pier, as part of the National Playwork Conference.

Mrs Murray said “To call the recent effort and changes at Blue Coat a 'project' does not do justice to the commitment and passion that the whole school feel towards play, and the fact that play is now more of a 'way of school life' than a project.

All 300 children at the school have benefitted - the benefits can be broadly summarised in three ways; they have space, they have stuff and they have permission! We are thrilled to receive recognition through the National Playwork award”.

All children at Blue Coat have inputted into play developments and shared their thoughts and feelings though a whole-school pupil play survey. Significant areas of the school that were previously out-of-bounds are now open for access. Large loose parts, the ‘Scrap Shed’ and ‘Mud Kitchen’ pots and pans, have provided endless opportunities for creative, active and social play. The playground landscape changes everyday - shaped and shifted by the children. They are swinging in homemade hammocks, building bug homes from mud, 'cooking' the bark chip, riding in milk-crate sleighs, defending a fort, and lying with their friends in the long meadow grass.

The Midday Supervisor team has been transformed into Blue Coat’s Play Team, shaking off the ‘dinner lady’ label and reinvigorated with new job descriptions, new uniforms and play training.

The play areas are not restricted by age and we see fantastic cross-year friendships, and younger children learning social skills from older pupils (and sometimes the other way around!). All benefit from this.

Reception pupils 'settled in' to playground life quickly this year due to the massive choice of activities and 'stuff' for them to get started with, and we have seen an overall improvement in behaviour.
More and more young people are benefitting from the project - younger and older siblings use the site before school, families come to 'out of hours' play events, and funding for our latest play facility, ‘The Play Beach’, a 60 tonne sandpit, will unlock community events for groups serving young people in Wotton under Edge.

In the press: Stroud Life


Play Beach - fantastic news!

Tesco digilogoWe are very excited to announce that Blue Coat will be getting a brand new outdoor play area, supported by funding from the new Tesco Bags of Help initiative. This new fund has been generated by the 5p carrier bag charge.

Blue Coat’s Play Beach will be a massive 60 tonne sand pit and outdoor play area located on the school field. It will be accessible to Blue Coat children during school hours, but also will have extended access to local community groups through a programme of special events.

The public (that means you!) will now vote in store from Saturday 27th February until Sunday 6th March on three local projects, deciding which project will win the £8,000, £10,000 or £12,000 awards.

We are guaranteed £8,000, but will be able to extend the project, equipment and storage further still if we win either of the larger awards.

WE NEED YOU! Please, please vote in store! Pass on this message to friends, family, neighbours and local clubs and organisations you are a member of. Every vote will count! Voting for our project will take place in the following stores:

Wotton-under-Edge Express
Dursley Cam Superstore
Tetbury Superstore
Cirencester Extra, Cirencester Metro, Chesterton Cirencester Express

Many thanks in advance for your support

Tesco has teamed up with Groundwork to launch its Bags of Help initiative in hundreds of regions across England and Wales. The scheme will see three community groups and projects in each of these regions awarded grants of £12,000, £10,000 and £8,000 – all raised from the 5p bag charge.

Bags of Help offers community groups and projects in each of Tesco’s 390 regions across the UK a share of revenue generated from the five pence charge levied on single-use carrier bags. The public will now vote in store from 27 February until 6 March on who should receive the £12,000, £10,000 and £8,000 awards. www.tesco.com/bagsofhelp

In the press: Stroud News and Journal


World Book Day 2016 hits the playground

DSCN2318World Book day is always a special, high energy day at school. At break and lunch children got the chance to put their chosen characters to the test! Capes were flying, spells were cast, potions mixed, webs spun, villains defeated and 'Wallys' found! The Play Team joined in the fun this year too, dressing up and delivering some outside story telling at lunchtime.

Here are some photos! (also see main World Book day slideshow through the 'News' section)

New year, new bark chip, new scrap

DSCN2047We have had a great start to the new term despite all the rain. The new drainage on the Infant Playground has been really effective and we have not experienced the silty, flooded edge that occurred regularly at this time last year.
A couple of trips to the Children's Scrapstore in Bristol have renewed the Scrap Shed. Children have enjoyed investigating the new items.
After a year of constant use and all the recent heavy rain, the Mud Kitchen needed a bark-chip top-up. Many thanks to all the pupils and parents who volunteered their time to help, making short of a large, physical job with team work and good humour.
Work has begun on the planted bank in the Infant Playground and welly sheds have started to arrive on site, so we have much to look forward to over the next few months.


Head's Tweet

from Mr Ryan

Ask your child what was so special about Blue Coat play today... #no1

13 Jul 18 at 7:56pm