Developing Our Play Environments

It has been inspirational to watch the research and innovation of our educators and students in bringing their best minds to considering our “places and spaces” at Bold Park Community School. We continue to invite your input and I highlight Nicole’s piece in last week’s Newsflash, titled “Developing Environments”. Nicole also provides links to the pdf resource for your input (these are also available at the front office). 

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We are embarking on a playground renewal plan as we make adjustments to play spaces that will be impacted by the new building in the primary school area and provide some much needed TLC to our beloved early childhood playground.

The first thing to do is to collect and input information around what we currently have and what improvements and innovations we can imagine.  We have begun this process by involving our teaching staff in ‘auditing’ the playgrounds using a framework based on an adaptation of the Seven C’s Principles of Playground Design (7 C’s of Playground Design):

  • Character,
  • Context,
  • Clarity,
  • Connectivity,
  • Change,
  • Chance, and
  • Challenge.

This involves analysing the spaces across varied criteria, for example: flow, ease of moving around, clarity of zones, sensorial quality, opportunities for adventure, mystery and challenge, graduation of challenge, atmosphere and condition of equipment.

We also need to consider not only what is physically there, but also the type of activity or play that is actually occurring in the spaces, a sort of ‘play audit’.  In this way, we can see what is present and what might be missing in order to plan for a rich variety of experience.

We are consulting with the students and at this stage have had input from Middle School and College.  Thanks to Alex Warburton, one of our College students for coordinating the team who conducted this survey and data collection.  Our teachers will be having discussions with their students across the school and of course, we also welcome input from families.

If you would like to make suggestions I have placed a document in reception you can add to, alternatively, you can pass on any comments or suggestions directly to me via email at nicole@boldpark.com.

Herrington, S; Brunelle, S. Mountain, J. & Brussoni, M(2015) 7C’s evaluation fo children’s play spaces. Vancouver: Consortium for Health Intervention, Learning and Development (CHILD). Retrieved from www.wstcoast.org/playspaces/outsidecriteria/7Cs.pdf

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