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Playground Development and ‘In the Zone ’. Caerphilly CBC. Why develop the playground?. Target on our PESS Plans Criteria for schools receiving playground markings (BLF grant) Schools keen to develop playground to help resolve current issues Links with Healthy Schools targets

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Playground Development and ‘In the Zone ’

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Playground development and in the zone l.jpg

Playground Developmentand ‘In the Zone’

Caerphilly CBC


Why develop the playground l.jpg

Why develop the playground?

  • Target on our PESS Plans

  • Criteria for schools receiving playground markings (BLF grant)

  • Schools keen to develop playground to help resolve current issues

  • Links with Healthy Schools targets

  • Develop leadership skills

  • Increase physical activity amongst children

  • Currently 39 schools in the Borough have received training, and 43 schools marked


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Common Issues…

  • Playground was cramped due to large number of pupils and small area

  • Football dominated the playground

  • Poor behaviour triggered by boredom / frustration / arguments

  • Lack of physical activity / constructive activities

  • Lack of ideas for activities

  • Equipment lost/broken

  • No clearly defined roles for MDS


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How was the Playground developed?

  • Consultation with Head Teacher / PE Coordinator

  • ‘In the Zone’ training for all MDS, LSA’s, and lead member of staff

  • ‘Buddy Training’ for Yr 5/6 pupils

  • Follow-up meeting (6-10 weeks later)


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‘In the Zone’ Delivery

  • Always specific to individual school

  • Driven by MDS and staff - ownership

  • Practical demonstrations were extremely effective, kept very basic and using only equipment / markings on school site

  • Use of additional resources (Dragon Sport Cards, YST cards, additional game cards)

  • Emphasis on whole school awareness and structure to project


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Buddy Training

  • Recruitment process for Buddy

  • Profile and importance of Buddy

  • ½ day training for Yr 5/6 pupils

  • Communication; Organisation; Leadership; Safety; Familiarisation of activities

  • Rota – Not ‘on duty’ too often!

  • Role of Buddy vs. MDS

  • Awards and incentives


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Differences experienced…

  • More structured and organised at lunchtimes

  • Improved behaviour both on the playground and in the classroom afterwards

  • Less complaints about being bored

  • More physical activity from more pupils

  • Better cooperation amongst pupils


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Differences experienced (cont.)

  • Football rota encouraged more variety in activities

  • Motivated MDS, Staff and Pupils to get involved

  • More clearly identified roles for MDS and Buddy

  • Opportunity for challenging pupils to utilise energy more effectively and positively


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Other Key Points…

  • Frequent turnover of MDS – refresher training

  • Keeping scheme fresh and varied

  • Support of key member of staff and Head Teacher is crucial for sustaining scheme

  • Rota of buddies to ensure they do not get bored / burned out

  • Maintain high profile of scheme


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Future of ‘In the Zone’

  • More schools to receive training (priority for PESS schools)

  • Healthy Schools Coordinators to help deliver training

  • Sharing of good practice across clusters / DC’s

  • Refresher training / additional ideas for existing schools


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Case Study from Tir Y Berth Primary School, Hengoed


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Tir-y-berth Primary School

Tir Y Berth Primary

In Pursuit of Excellence

  • Why did we implement ‘In the Zone’?

    • Inappropriate behaviour was an increasing concern

    • With not a lot to occupy them, children started playing rough games such as British Bulldog and wrestling

    • Pupil questionnaires revealed that many children were generally bored and lonely because they had no one to play with

    • Buddy initiative previously implemented had limited success as the buddies often found it difficult to occupy other children

    • Developing leadership skills was a key focus for the school

    • ‘In the Zone’ provides great choice for pupils with the 3 zones, so would allow access for all


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Tir-y-berth Primary School

Tir Y Berth Primary

In Pursuit of Excellence

  • What did we do?

    • Healthy Schools Coordinator, support staff and MDS received ‘In the Zone’ training. This was to make sure members of staff were fully aware of the initiative and could provide support to play leaders

    • Play leaders posts were advertised around the school, inviting pupils to send in an application form and letter to the play leader coordinator

    • Candidates in Yr 5 & 6 were then shortlisted, interviewed and 12 appointed

    • The play leaders then received training using ‘In the Zone’ CD Rom.


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Tir-y-berth Primary School

Tir Y Berth Primary

In Pursuit of Excellence

  • What did we do?

    • A weekly rota was devised identifying those on duty on the KS2 yard and which zone and activity each play leader was responsible for

    • The play leaders were fully responsible for carrying out activities in their zone and dealing with minor behavioural issues

    • Initially a member of support staff was allocated to each zone to oversee and deal with any teething issues


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Tir-y-berth Primary School

Tir Y Berth Primary

In Pursuit of Excellence

  • Has it made a difference?

    • In the early stages but signs are very positive

    • Comments from children are positive. They are pleased they have more to do

    • More children are active during break-times

    • As time has progressed less supervision has been needed from support staff

    • Teachers on duty and incident book indicate a reduction in the number of squabbles and physical fights

    • Play leaders confidence and leadership skills have improved – many initially lacked confidence or did not have a wide circle of friends. Self-esteem has improved


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Tir-y-berth Primary School

Tir Y Berth Primary

In Pursuit of Excellence

  • Future plans in Tir Y Berth…

    • Appoint new playleaders in preparation for next year

    • Further training for play leaders and PE Coordinator planned

    • Current play leaders to develop their own training CD to aid future play leaders

    • Further develop resources available in each zone, in particular the ‘Chill Out’ zone

    • Implement initiative in the KS1 playground


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