Now that we’re well into the swing of 2019, it’s likely you’re already developing plans for your school throughout the rest of the year. And while resurfacing your playground and outdoor areas may or may not be top of that list at the moment, there are a number of reasons why it should be!
Our first point is perhaps the most obvious but nonetheless one of the most important points we’re about to make, especially since it’s not unheard of for schools to misjudge the quality of their grounds, and how they can pose a danger to pupils.
Playing surfaces that have become frayed or fractured can cause children to trip or slip over. If they’re are lucky, this may result in just skinned knees, but in the worst case scenarios they can even lead to more serious trauma, such as head injuries. There’s also the less obvious but still equally serious threats to health and safety; aggregates such as bark mulch can become home to microbes and cause infection if allowed to enter broken skin.
Naturally, it’s unacceptable for children to become injured through neglect of school grounds, whether accidental or wilful, and safeguarding the health and safety of pupils is the top priority for any school – so when inspecting your school grounds, it’s always good to start off looking for damage first.
Like other organisations, for many schools the earlier months comprise the time of year when they tend to take stock of their performance and the impression that they’re projecting in the community, and where they could be doing better to improve those aspects. It’s the time when new targets are set to meet those aspects. Taking control of your school playground design is the perfect place to start.
While playground markings can actually help on the academic front (though we’ll come to that in a moment), it also has an even more immediate effect on the way your school is perceived – by pupils, staff and parents. Carefully chosen school markings can do wonders to embody the personality of your school, reflecting your core values for staff, children and visitors. A school’s outward appearance is the first impression it projects, and you might be surprised at the effect of transforming a neglected outdoor space can have.
It’s no secret that spending more time in the gym is one of the most common New Year’s Resolutions that adults generally task themselves with, and one that’s not always followed through. Children are generally less single-minded about their fitness goals (arguably a good thing!) which means that playground designs like the Daily Mile provide a fun way to encourage them towards healthy, active lifestyles. The Daily Mile is one of the most popular examples here at Uniplay, but we have several other options available geared towards encouraging these sorts of active goals. (Meanwhile, if you already have the Daily Mile at your school, sometimes resurfacing can help them to avoid risking the sorts of injuries we outlined above.)
We went into more detail on this in a recent post, but the act of resurfacing to make way for playground markings (and the games associated with them) can foster positive relationships between children, often through the games they facilitate. They can help shy children to communicate more freely within the contexts of the game, and provide a healthy outlet for them to expend physical energy outside of the classroom. Individual games can help with turn taking, respect, patience and empathy, and school playground design can even help to reduce confrontations and bullying. Now that we’re at the start of a New Year, it may be worth taking a note of how much of these sorts of incidents you experience at the moment, and how much these incidents reduce at the end of this year!
Our philosophy at Uniplay is “to see children of all abilities develop essential skills through play” and we specialise in the design and installation of thermoplastic playground markings, giving playgrounds colour and creativity to enhance play, fitness and fun. You can choose your favourites from our extensive range of categories, or if give one of our friendly experts a call on 0333 321 6695 if you have any questions, or need any advice. We’re always happy to help!