As I turn my thoughts back to playgrounds after a long focus on nanoscience, I’m contemplating the many types of play seen in this video of the exemplary set of options available at Beacon Rise primary school in Bristol (home of my alma mater!) as filmed over a *single* twenty-minute recess. The exemplary set of options (I’m up to 15 types of play now, how about you?) is the result of six years of diligent work by head Chris Thomas, a dedicated school ‘play team’, and Michael Follett of OPAL, devoted to Outdoor Play And Learning.
“Pupils show respect for others in many situations, for example through the harmonious relationships evident at playtimes. The school has invested heavily in improving play facilities and resources, with a designated play coordinator. Pupils enjoy the variety of stimulating opportunities for creative play, which have helped to eliminate almost all incidents of inappropriate behaviour. This has added to pupils’ enjoyment of school. High rates of attendance further confirm this enjoyment.” Beacon Rise OSTED Report March 2012
And as a bonus, don’t miss the video of the temporary installations at their annual play day. Shrieks of laughter are one of the best measures for quality of play, and Beacon Rise and OPAL score a solid 10 of 10.