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Mission Grove Primary School


Mission Grove has a proactive approach to getting children active; staff understand the correlation between sport and activity and learning success. But as a city school, making the most from outdoor space was a fine balancing act. Their brief was simple - they needed a space that would work for every age, offering both play and opportunities for more structured sports and games. Finally, they wanted a space that would help children make the transition from play to sport, in preparation for secondary school.


Playforce created two distinct zones: one with flexible equipment focused on activity and the other a more traditional sports space.


equipment needs to work across the ages. When planning a playground or outdoor grounds development, focused on PE and sports, the first place to start has to be the National Curriculum for Physical Education. For guidance on what types of equipment work best for this funding, for KS1 & 2 active spaces, download our advice guides: http://www.playforce.co.uk/schools-and- nurseries/resources/sports


making the most of it The best way to get the most from your funding is to sit down and plan it out. We recommend a four-step programme: 1. Start by understanding where you are now. What do you offer and where are the gaps?


2. Next, set out what you’re going to do. Create an action plan and have clear timescales so you know what needs to be done and when.


3. Next, record the impact of this work. How effective is your spending? Your measures can be qualitative and quantitative.


4. Finally, ask yourself how sustainable this spending is. Will there by the same impact in one, five or ten years?


what equipment works best? The best outdoor space designs combine equipment, zones and landscaping that have multiple purposes. Your play and sports


36 pactfacilities.co.uk


top tip We’re particularly impressed by the advice London Sport set out for schools, on planning out how you’re going to get the most from this funding. You can download this here: http://londonsport.org/wp-content/uploads/ 2017/02/LON9094_SchoolGuidance_v6.pdf


www.playforce.co.uk


The first zone included a climbing wall traverse, trapeze swing with balancing rope, tunnel challenge, wobble walkway, web climber and scramble wall. Plus, geo climbing boulder as well as a play lawn, safer impact surfacing and benches. Every piece of equipment was chosen because it could be used in different ways, for different outcomes and by a wide range of ages. Each could be included within guided sports and games activity or used for free play. Children could develop physical literacy understanding as well as risk boundaries, in a fun and stimulating environment.


The second zone was what most schools would consider to be a more traditional sports space - including a multi use games area (2m x 32.5m x 17.5m), with recessed goal ends, basketball hoops and single access gate with all-weather overlay surfacing. Here children could take the physical literacy skills they had developed in their younger years on into more traditional sporting activities. This process helped to prepare them for the transition to secondary school and to see sports and active play as something fun.


One initiative that has made a big difference at Mission Grove is the Sports Leaders scheme. Once children reach Year 4, they can become a Mission Grove Sports Leader. Sports Leaders run lunchtime Change4Life games and activities in the playground for children from Reception to Year 4. The scheme, which uses the MUGA and the range of equipment in the play zone, is designed to involve children in inclusive group games and to develop leadership skills. Mission Grove has 35 Sports Leaders and a further 40 trainee Sports Leaders. To qualify, children must complete an application form, attend weekly meetings and undergo training.


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