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.

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!

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.


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!


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!


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