Mud Kitchen arrives! March 2015

IMG 3045During the February break, a transformation has been happening to the muddy area behind the play sheds in the Infant playground.
With help from a grant from Gloucestershire County Council's Active Together scheme, plus volunteer time from Tyler Grange LLP, the Blue Coat Parents for Play group and PTA, the 400m2 area has been changed into Blue Coat's Mud Kitchen.

This area has been out of bounds during the wetter winter months, due to slippery, muddy conditions. Now the ground is covered in 25m3 of play-grade bark chip, allowing it be accessed throughout the whole year.
The new space combines natural materials, such as logs, bark, pine cones and tree stumps, with recycled materials such as pots and pans, tyres and tables. Outdoor storage allows everything to be tidied away. The whole area is edged with wood donations from Westonbirt Arboretum.
We hope the Mud Kitchen will provide many new opportunities for creative and active outdoor play. All we need to do now is add the children!

Many thanks to ALL who contributed. Here is the transformation:

...and here are the children putting it to the test at break time on the first Monday back!

 

Outdoor Play in Winter

DSCN0115The children have been enjoying outdoor play at break at lunchtimes, wrapping up and getting out-and-about despite the recent cold temperatures.

We had a fantastic Forest School Open Morning in late January, planting young trees and willow on the top field, plus a whole host of other activities, including den building, bug hunting, clay sculptures and willow weaving.

The keen-eyed amongst you may have noticed a new shed next to the Infant Playground. This addition will become Blue Coat's new Scrap Shed later this spring, offering new creative and imaginative play opportunities, including construction and role play. Many thanks to Blue Coat's PTA for raising funds for both the tree saplings and the Scrap Shed.

The slideshow below contains a selection of recent photos from the playground to give you a flavour of activity at lunchtime.

 

OPAL Development meeting, Feb 2014

2014-03-26 10.01.25 amThe development team met with Michael Follett to consider how the grounds might evolve over the medium to long term so as to form a strategic view of where the project needs to get to.
We were inspired by the grounds of several european schools when thinking of how we might develop our own. Of course, children will have the ultimate say in the matter but as a vision setting process it was very exciting to explore possibilities.
Michael was commissioned to draw up the strategic plan and this can be read in the link below. Helpfully he has included images of other play areas to accompany description and a map of the school site to put the plans into context for the reader.

Blue Coat OPAL Grounds Development Plan 2014

A Policy for Play at Blue Coat


 

Appointment of Blue Coat's Play Coordinator, Sept 2014

We are delighted to announce that we have successfully appointed a Play Coordinator to lead high quality play at Blue Coat. Rachel Murray will be working closely with our pupils, senior leaders and governors over the coming months and years to ensure that our play project results in memorable and exciting play opportunities for all. Watch this space for updates!


 

Parent meeting with OPAL, Nov 2013


Michael Follett from OPAL held a parent audience in a meeting focussed on Blue Coat’s decision to review its approach to play at break and lunch times. Michael has worked with over 180 schools on developing their programme of play, is a member of the board for Play England and has worldwide recognition for his work in this field.

The presentation to parents set the scene by addressing how quality play is often put at risk due to factors associated with modern lifestyles. In this context, he underlined the responsibility that schools have in order to conserve and promote rich, purposeful play for our children.

 

 

 

Head's Tweet

from Mr Ryan

Have a great half-term break, everyone!

Yesterday at 3:16pm