Outdoor play in spring

DSCN0575The children and the Play Team have been enjoying the recent spring sunshine, with the drier conditions helping us make the most of one of our greatest play assets - the field! The field is open as much as possible at lunchtime, giving lots of space for football, piggybacks, cartwheels and even the odd human pyramid - all activities that are possible when on the soft grass rather than hard tarmac. New footballs have been purchased for playtime, and the new additions of tree stumps, pallet stage and logs are all in regular use.

Elsewhere on site, the Mud Kitchen continues to be very popular, and the children have really made this space their own, setting and resetting the environment to their liking each day. The staff are amazed on daily basis as to just how many different ways you can play with a tyre!

Meadow morning

DSCN0115Over 60 Blue Coat children, families and friends joined with Mr Brooks and Mrs Murray this weekend for the Meadow Morning. The big idea was to create some large wildflower beds on the Top Field, whilst at the same time having a fun Forest School morning and enjoying some family-time outdoors.

A great time was had by all! Activities included sowing wildflower seeds, making and scattering seed bombs, hand-drilling your own wooden pendant, fabulous den building, willow brooms and clay creatures.

All our wildflower seeds were donated - so a big thank you to Grow Wild, Boston Seeds and Thompson & Morgan. Special thanks also to Mr Carlton, Mrs Yeoman, Mrs Bryce, Mrs Buckley and Mr Murray for helping to set up and deliver the event. Read more in the school's Latest News.

Small spaces for play

Storage bench denWhilst some Blue Coat pupils head straight for the wide-open, fast moving pace of the Top Playground for games of basketball or playing tag, many others seek out the quieter nooks and crannies of the playground.

There are many small play spaces across the site. They can be as simple as a quiet corner, a dry strip under a window sill, squeezing behind a bench or  bush, or tucking away in the new 'Creature Corner'.
These areas provide rich social play experiences, and are great for uninterupted imaginative play. The children make these spaces their own and the playground landscape is ever-changing. Coats on the floor create comfy 'beds', tyres are arranged and rearranged for seats, a storage bench becomes a temporary den, and creative artistic arrangements of natural materials are discovered at tidy-up time nearly every day!

As we further develop our areas for play, we will clear and create more 'small spaces', providing quieter corners and opportunities for relaxation, socialisation and play.

Making change for play

DSCN1842Spring has arrived and the beautiful cherry blossom greeted us all on our return after the Easter break. Always the first to make the most of new opportunities, the children have incorporated catkins, daisies, cherry blossom and dandelion flowers into their play. The Reception children have enjoyed their first lunchtime up on the school field. Now the warmer, drier weather has arrived we'll be using this great space as often as possible.

A change in the season gives us a chance to look back over the 6 months and the changes we have made across our site, all with the plan of making Blue Coat a better place for play. Some changes have been obvious, such as the creation of our Mud Kitchen. Others have been more slow or subtle. A new mowing regime on the field should give us long grass meadow path this summer. Trees planted at the Family Forest School day are bursting into life. Willow cuttings planted on a cold winter's morning are changing the flow of play in the Infant Adventure Playground.

The slideshow below brings together some of the elements of transformation. The plan for play continues - we are now looking at developing the grassy mound behind the Top Court, fundraising for an orchard and giant sandpit, and all are welcome to the wildflower meadow planting morning on Sat 25 April .


What did you play with today?

DSCN1483Over the last week all eyes have been on Blue Coat's Mud Kitchen, as we launched the new play space and even welcomed a reporter from BBC Radio Gloucestershire for a live interview on site!
However, the Mud Kitchen is just one of the spaces available to children at break and lunchtime. Blue Coat is lucky to have a variety of outdoor spaces and the long-term plan is to make the very best of all areas and to continue on-site development with play in mind.

As parents do not get to see what happens during lunchtime, this web page will be used to give a virtual window onto the playground. A common enquiry from parents is about what toys and equipment there are for the children to play with at lunchtime, so the following slideshow shows some of the 'tools of play' available over the last week. Not everything is captured here - it's very difficult to get a good shot of the older children running and throwing on the Top Playground as they move so quickly!

Head's Tweet

from Mr Ryan

Well done, Key Stage 2 - a brilliant celebration of Christmas!

4 minutes ago