With the Comprehensive Spending Review (CSR) articulated but not yet felt, there seems to be a polarised mood across educational communities. Some colleagues seem resigned to an uncertain future with diminishing direct funding from previous sources. Others are optimistic and are shaping their communities of practice around new and exciting opportunities. For these colleagues new doors have definitely opened and they are relishing the chance to operate outside of the demands once made upon them from previous regimes. In times of austerity, particularly in light of the collapse of the Building Schools for the Future programme, schools will be required to maximise existing spaces, such as playgrounds, in their bid to provide stimulating and vibrant learning experiences for their children and young people. Through the use of playground equipment and playground markings, the playground offers a mulititude of such experiences harnessing the power of cross curricular, kinesthetic approaches to learning that are proven to increase engagement and develop ‘real world’ learning.
ESP’s own pioneering approaches to the effective movement development of children and young people, through Multi-skills playground markings, is now fully substantiated through evidence from a series of national research projects headed by international child-development experts from Leeds Metropolitan, Roehampton, Liverpool John Moores and Glasgow Universities. The most encouraging aspect of this research is not only the fact that these playground development projects are having a positive impact on the variables that contribute to childhood obesity but they are also impacting upon wider areas of childhood development such as an increase in social interaction, creativity and girls participation as well as a decrease in anti-social and sedentary behaviours.
The days of high funding support for the interlinking aspects of educational infrastructure and the development of children’s physical literacy are numbered. There is a new call to action and that is to prove the place of physical activity, physical education and sport within the wider developmental aims of the school and ultimately the child.
Dr David Morley
Head Of Education, ESP
For more information please visit www.espplay.co.uk