The Importance Of Play In Schools
Play is one of the primary mechanisms children and young people use to learn about the world around them. Both natural and instinctive, play enables children to test their own abilities and learn and develop new skills and knowledge. As such play has a critical role in schools – offering both an outlet for expending energy during break times and as a means of contributing to learning through the curriculum.
The importance of schools as environments for play also cannot be understated. For many children and young people, the school playground represents the only open, accessible space available to them on a regular basis that allows them to engage in physically challenging and socially developmental outdoor play.
Just some examples of how play can help to reinforce curricular learning include:
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