Minister for Education presents first ever PlayBoard ‘TOPS’ (Taking Outdoor Play Seriously) Quality Assurance Award for Outdoor Play in Schools to Ballymacash Primary School.

Today (Wednesday 8th June) newly appointed Minister for Education, Peter Weir MLA presented Ballymacash Primary School, Lisburn with the first ever PlayBoard ‘TOPS’ Quality Assurance Award for Outdoor Play in Schools.  The award, developed and overseen by PlayBoard – the lead organisation for play in Northern Ireland, recognises the significant work and commitment shown by the school to enhancing its outdoor space in order to enhance and broaden play opportunities.

Image above from left to right: Shauneen McCusker (PlayBoard), Karen Ellison (PWG, play working group at Ballymacash P.S), Laura Wilson (PWG), Peter Weir MLA, Judith Allen (PWG), Anne Armstrong (PWG), Laura Spence (PWG), Lauren Belshaw (PWG) and Lisa Armstrong (PWG).

PlayBoard’s Work In Schools

For over 12 years PlayBoard has been working to improve children’s school based play experiences through a range of training and play support programmes. This includes PlayBoard’s Positive PlayGrounds programme which has been delivered in over two hundred and fifty primary schools giving children, teaching and non-teaching staff the opportunity to explore a wide range of issues relating to play including play theory, play types, playground policy, the playground environment and co-operative games.

Building on the experience gained through Positive Playgrounds, in 2015 PlayBoard developed the ‘TOPS’ Quality Assurance Programme and Award for Outdoor Play aimed at supporting schools to bring about a comprehensive transformation of the school environment in order to encourage and support outdoor play.

Through both the ‘Positive Playgrounds’ and ‘Quality Assurance’ programmes schools are able to work towards a fuller utilisation of the outdoor environment in order to enhance opportunities for play-based curricular learning; broaden active and social play; and better meet children’s natural play needs.

For an expression of interest form contact Shauneen or Alan at PlayBoard for more information on 028 90803380