|Site Last Updated 20th January 2009|
Playground Improvements - Our Primary Focus In 2008 and 2009...
We've been working hard over the last year with staff, parents and pupils to develop plans for improving the playground at the school.
Successful Funding Application To National Lottery!
The latest news is that we are very pleased to report that we have been successful in securing a £10,000 grant from the National Lottery Awards for all scheme!
The playground is currently "wall to wall tarmac" with little to inspire the children or for teachers to work with as part of the currculum. Everyone feels strongly about this issue and we have gained great breadth and depth of support for this project.
Comely Park Primary School Playground - "Wall To Wall Tarmac"...
A great deal of momentum has been built up over the last year through a series of activities aimed at communications and engaging stakeholders:
These activities are now described in detail below in chronological order below.
Research - Kinnaird Primary - 22nd March 2008
The Parent Council visit the newly built Kinnaird Primary School to see what was recognised as the new local benchmark for excellent playground facilities.
Melanie Brookes and Mr Watkinson met with the Pupil Council at lunchtime to hear what they would like to be included in any improvements to the playground. The key suggestions were:
The meeting was concluded with a commitment to discuss the issues raised with the wider Parent Council and would then report back to the Pupil Council with an update. Mr Watkinson suggested we could show the Pupil Council photos of the new playground at Kinnaird Primary.
A follow up presentation was given to the Pupil Council which received very positive feedback.
Strong support from the pupils with immediate effect - a number of pupils volunteered to man a stall at the forthcoming Spring Fayre.
The Pupil Council and Parent Council co-hosted a stall at the Spring Fayre – “Comely Park Playground – probably the most boring playground in the world!”
The Pupil Council volunteers who kindly came along and did a great job. The stall gained lots of interest. Everyone we talked to, both pupils and parents, had positive feedback.
We collected around 30 pupil ideas and over 30 parent pledges of support for the playground improvements. One parent works in a saw mill and offered cut price, perhaps even free timber if we need it. Another recommended the company Tarmac who do a lot of playground upgrades for communities near their sites (there is a Tarmac plant in Falkirk).
One piece of interesting information from Fiona Reid of the PTA - she believes that Kinnaird received funding for their playground from RBS through a scheme called “Super Grounds”.
The support was strong for our proposed next steps:
Look forward to getting your feedback. Keen to move this forward as far as possible before our final meeting of the school year on the 28th.
Playground Design Competition - May 2008
A Playground Design Competition entry fom was issued to all pupils at the school. The competition asked entrants to:
On Monday 23rd June - 112 fantastic entries were judged by 6 members of the Pupil Council, 2 members of the Parent Council, an architect from Falkirk Council, a member of the "Grounds For Learning" charity and Head Teacher Mr Watkinson.
It was extremely difficult selecting winners from entries of such high standards and with so many good ideas. In the end, three winners were chosen:
The ideas from ALL entries will be used to create a playground design. This will be set out in a "Playground Improvement Plan" which is set to be finalised at the start of the new term. Recurring themes across all year groups are:
Themes include: Care For Our World, Natural Fun, Greenery, Monsters, Fun Fair, Happy Memories and Happy Pictures, Jungle Fun, Sports Activities
Themes include: Fun and Fit, Treasure Island, Dinosaurs, Peace Tree, Island Theme, Nature and Garden, Animal Kingdom, Happy Time, Dragon Theme, Under The Sea, Nature Woodland
Themes include: The School – Motto and Crest, Planets, Jungle, Eco Playground, Sport and Activity, Environmentally Friendly Playground, Fun Colourful, Tidy, Clean and Fun, An Adventure In Space, Bright And Fun, Indiana Jones, Fun Times, Bright And Fun, Sport
Themes include: Football, Simpsons, Tropical Island, Jungle, Woods, Sea Shore, Little Animals, Children’s Play Fair, Tropical Island, Spring Time, Bugs, Welcome To Comely Park, Summer, Autumn
Themes include: Fun When You Learn, Around The World, The Sea, Deep Sea World, Colourful, Healthy and Happy, Comely Park Primary School Rocks!, Eco Friendly, School Colours, The Ocean
Themes include: Welcome To Comely Park, Nature And Friends, Jungle, Cans, Bottles Of Juice and Fruit, Active Equipment, A Place To Let Out Your Feelings
The Parent Council has commissioned the charity Grounds For Learning to provide expert advice and guidance for the project.
For more information about Grounds For Learning (GfL) - please visit their web site http://www.gflscotland.org.uk/.
Penny Martin from GfL visited the school on the 23rd June 2008 to meet Mr Watkinson, tour the school grounds and participate in judging the Playground Design Competition. A Grounds Advisory Visit Report has been produced that captures the findings from this visit:
Sensory Playground - Stirling Gallery
This biodiversity playground was constructed using local crafts people for the mosaic pond, drystane walls, willow tunnel, wood carving and truf maze. We found that a lot of the wooden objects had become slippy. Click here for a full set of pictures:
Trees - Causewayhead
This playground has recently been updated with the addition of more natural features. Click here for a full set of pictures:
Good Ideas - Plean
The playground at East Plan Primary showed some simple yet effective ideas - playground markings, notice boards, trees and shelters. It also illustrated the downside of playground improvements as they can attract vandals. Click here for a full set of pictures:
The three key stakeholders are pupils, teachers and the local community.
The key objectives of the playground design are:
We feel that we can transform the urban setting for not just the school but the surrounding community.
The following "zone plan" has been developed that sets out the proposed layout for the new playground.
Note - this design is still in development and has still to be validated with the Pupil Council, Teachers, Parents and with Falkirk Council planning department.
Each zone has the following features:
The quiet zone is positioned on the senior side of the school and in the area of the grounds nearest to local residents. This area has been chosen as it provides a secluded triangle shaped corner bordered on two sides by walls. Based on requests from older year groups, it will provide a place for small groups to mee, with the following facilities:
This will provide games to develop strategy, skill and coordination. This area of the school has a gentle slope, so we will aim to make use of that for some of the games, for example being able to roll objects down the slope to hit targets. This will focus on the following facilities:
Will area will allow children to use their imagination and will encourage interactive play.
Allows children to express themselves through the use of sensory equipment. The equipment will encourage children to work as a group to make different rhythms. Whilst commercial equipment is available, recycled and natural materials will also be used.
Will provide an area for physical activity.
There are 6 transition areas:
Main Entrance, Nursery Entrance, Primary 1 Entrance, Primary 2/3 Entrance, Primary 4/5 Entrance, Primary 6/7 Entrance.
These zones will enable pupils to move from classroom to playground and then from playground to classroom. These areas will not have any specific apparatus but will be equipped where possible to make these transitions easier:
Detailed plan is in development and can be viewed here.
Spring Fayre May 2008 - support from parents and pupils for plans.
Spring Fayre - to communicate and validate proposed approach.
Playground Design Competition - over 100 entries, 3 winners selected by Pupil Council.
Grounds For Learning - site visit and report.
A playground design is being finalised using pupils ideas submitted during design competition.
A "Zone Plan" has been produced.
A first draft of a Detailed Plan has been created for further discussion.
Application to "Awards For All" submitted.
"Awards For All" grant for £10,000 issued to Parent Council for Playground Improvements.
Work will start on the first phase of the playground improvements in October.
The first phase will implement: playground markings, basketball and weaving pencils.
Additional funding is required for the second phase - the Parent Council and PTA are working together to secure this funding.
|Home | About | News | Meetings | Projects||Contact | Links|
|Comely Park Parent Council ©2008|