Autumn antics

DSCN1624Autumn term 2 is underway, bringing with it fallen leaves, rain and a bit of mud! Children are helped with the change in season with reminders for coats and jumpers, hand-washing before lunch and before returning to the classroom, and shoe-wiping on the door mats. The new drainage channels on the Infant Playground seem to be working well, so we have seen none of the flooding or silty puddles that we had last year.
You will have received a Parentmail about a new family event on Sunday 29th November. We will be planting our own mini orchard on the school field, plus other tree saplings, spring bulbs, and doing other fun, outdoor activities. The event is kindly supported by grants and donations from The Tree Council (fruit trees), the Woodland Trust (saplings) and Thompson and Morgan (bulbs). All are welcome - put the date in your diary!

Here is a 'window to the playground' slideshow, giving you an idea of what the children have been up to so far this term.

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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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!

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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.

Head's Tweet

from Mr Ryan

Excellent support for both the KS1 last week and KS2 parent meeting this week. Thanks to all attending

Wednesday at 8:54am