This Good School Playground Guide highlights the possibilities and priorities when designing and improving school grounds for play and learning. Whatever your budget or scale of ambition, this guide will help you develop outdoor spaces which will help make your school the best place to grow up in.
Investing in children’s play is one of the most important things we can do to improve children’s health and wellbeing in Scotland. Although children are playing outdoors less now than at any point in our history, most still have access to a school playground where they can play outdoors on a regular basis.
With thoughtful design, these spaces can play a significant role in improving children’s health and wellbeing. They can stimulate physical activity and encourage the development of important physical competencies. They can provide positive childhood experiences of being outdoors that we know increase the likelihood of being active outdoors in adult life. And they can create an environment that meets children’s developmental needs to explore, create, collaborate, socialise and simply to ‘be’ – all which we know are important for their emotional health.
We offer training on transforming play in your school grounds, based on the Good School Playground Guide – please visit our training pages for more.
A free staff training resource - to help schools develop happier and healthier break times. Taking learning from the Scottish ‘Natural Play Project’, we share inspiration and practice with opportunity to decide your own schools practice.
The course contains 10 short reflective sessions with accompanying video’s.
Across the UK, schools are re-discovering the importance of play and its ability to impact on some of the most significant aspects of child development. They are also discovering that natural environments and natural materials offer some of the richest play opportunities. While many schools are now developing playgrounds to create natural play spaces, hundreds of schools already have access to a wonderful, but unused, woodland playground right on their doorstep.
We wanted to find out how woodlands in or adjacent to schools could be made accessible for regular play. We have visited schools that have been doing this for years and worked with others that have recognised the potential of their woodlands for play but who needed help to turn their aspirations into reality.
This booklet shares what we have learned along the way. Not only does it illustrate the unique range of experiences and benefits offered by woodland play to children of all abilities, but also how the schools have managed the practical issues that might otherwise have prevented them from making the most of this wonderful resource.
Hundreds of schools across the UK have discovered that a school orchards can be an effective and practical way of enriching learning and school life in many ways.
This booklet distils what we have learned from supporting the creation of school orchards in over 70 primary and secondary schools across England, Scotland and Wales.
The tips you will find here are school-tested, practical and inexpensive.
Our hope is that it will inspire you to get going and create your own school orchard and give you the practical guidance that you need to make it a success.
Challenge your learners to estimate, calculate or measure the height of a tree. They have to apply simple mathmatical skills in a problem solving context - and find out how high is that tree!
The same skills apply to buildings and towers - so don’t worry if you don’t have many trees!
Assigning a character to a tree may be all the inspiration you need. Is the tree wise, tired, angry or kind?
There are many examples of talking trees from Greek mythology and literature. An alternative stimulus could be research about gargoyles or the green man.
The practical purpose of gargoyles in architecture is to channel water away from the masonry walls. They were designed to look grotesque or fantastical in order to protect those that they guarded.
The green man is a facial sculpture surrounded by leaves. Forms of this character are found in many different cultures through the ages. The icon is generally interpreted as a symbol of the cycle of new life at spring.