Hasmonean Primary School playground – fun, fitness & inclusion!
The plan for the playground is to transform the area in front of the wall into a playground fitness trail. It will benefit the 150 infant and junior pupils on a daily basis. There are a number of special needs children – e.g. dyspraxic, autistic and hypermobile children, for whom it is imperative that they have a physical space to be able to build their strength and co-ordination. They are being further disadvantaged by the lack of equipment. The fence will be erected so that those children who wish to use the space for football will be able to do so without risk of injury to those on the playing frame side (It is likely to be higher than the diagram).
- To improve Fitness – Childhood obesity is of great concern and the need to engage children in fitness activities which are also fun is essential. This equipment would meet the objective in that it has been selected to engage arms, legs and the whole body in exercise. The equipment itself is called a “Fitness Trail”.
- To aid Inclusion - At the moment the only activity available during playtime is football. Dyspraxic children and frequently children with ADHD and ASD lack the co-ordination to play football. The play equipment will enable them to be more included during playtime as it is something that they will more readily be able to access.
- To provide Stimulation – Unfortunately some children find the lack of concrete stimulation difficult and have engaged in risky behaviour e.g. dragging the benches around as there was no apparatus to engage with (which injured a child). The play equipment is a safe area to provide stimulation for them.
How we will achieve our goals
Two quotes for the playground equipment have already been obtained . The most economically viable design has been selected. This means that as soon as the funding is received, the project will be initiated and the company have said that the completion time is within 6 weeks. This means that by next summer the children will already be accessing and enjoying the equipment on a daily basis.
Where the money will go
As a paediatric Occupational Therapist, I understand the importance of providing children with opportunities for quality physical experiences, especially when they spend much of their day seated. This equipment would provide children with opportunities to develop their physical skills in a broader way e.g. the equipment they hang from strengthens their shoulder and finger muscles and this is essential for developing fine motor skill such as writing.