Recognising the importance of play in children’s lives, we have worked hard to promote positive and quality play opportunities and have transformed the lunchtime period with our introduction of the zoned areas. Lunchtimes are now a time in the day when children can access the space to initiate their own play encouraging creativity and using their imaginations to respond to the resources available to them. We believe that play is at the very heart of our development of child initiated learning and that we have a responsibility to ensure that everyone has sufficient time and space to explore and participate in a range of play activities as part of their education and in pursuit of developing the whole child.
We know from our own experience and the information provided by research that play contributes to children’s physical and emotional health, well-being, approach to learning and of course the enjoyment of school. We provide the conditions that encourage and support our children’s ability to play and the benefits are huge. We have noticed great improvements in attitudes and behaviours, the way in which children participate in activities and in the quality of play and learning taking place.
We have 5 zones which the children sign up to daily:
Zone 1: The front playground provides creative play opportunities linked to role play, imaginative story-telling, music and performance.
Zone 2: The field provides the open space necessary for children to let off steam, develop physical skills and refine sporting techniques. This is a zone where future sports people develop their craft!
Zone 3: The middle playground promotes the development of large motor skills with the use of balls, racquets, hoops, skipping ropes and various other items of equipment. This is where the Huff & Puff trolley can be accessed and a range of physical skills can be practised and refined.
Zone 4: A smaller zone catering for quieter activities such as drawing, model making, garden games and small world play.
Zone 5: Here loose parts, supplied by the scrap store, can be used to develop imaginative play and water is a regular and popular feature for children to become engaged with.