Christian aid week 2016 - creating a coin work

DSCN2917Last week, a wiggly art installation was created on the school playground as Blue Coat children and families took part in a fun fundraising event, in support of Christian Aid Week.
You may be thinking 'Why a worm?'
Families living in Bangladesh face the challenges of livng on islands in the middle of a river. Flooding is a regular occurrence and Christian Aid have already started to help families adapt to the problems by raising their houses and giving them seeds and worms so that they can grow more food.

Piggy banks were raided and pocket money brought in. The children had lots of fun placing their coins with care. Many thanks to all that took part, donating coins and also helping to collect them all up at the end of the day.

UPDATE! - our 100 metre worm raised £342.00! This is enough to change the life of a whole family living on an island in Bangladesh. 
Well done everyone, and especially to Mrs Blaken for leading the initiative.

Family Forest school 'spring special'

DSCN2703Over 80 Blue Coat children and adults enjoyed a glorious morning of spring sunshine and fresh air in the latest installment of our Family Forest School and Outdoor Play events programme.
Forest School was open for business - with den building, mud kitchen, digging and bug hunting. Willow cuttings from around the school site were used for weaving shapes and structures.
A 50m 'wildflower river' was sown using seeds from the Grow Wild campaign, and a new hedge was planted with native saplings provided by the Woodland Trust.
Thank you everyone for 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


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.

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)

Head's Tweet

from Mr Ryan

We observed Remembrance in school worship yesterday, following on from Class Taibei's brilliant, thought provoking worship last Friday.

Tuesday at 9:22am