At St Stephen’s School, we believe that play is at the very heart of the development of child-initiated learning and that we have a responsibility to ensure that everyone has sufficient time and space to explore and participate in a range of play opportunities as part of their education and in pursuit of making them well-rounded individuals.
We know, both from our own experience and the most recent research, that play contributes hugely to children’s physical and emotional health, well-being, approach to learning and, of course, the enjoyment of school. To this end, we provide conditions that encourage and support our children’s ability to play and ensures children get at least 30 minutes of activity a day.
We have three playgrounds in the school:
The EYFS playground is where our youngest children are supported, and a selection of activities are set up each day. This includes a range of building equipment, water and sand play. There is a higher adult to child ratio with this group of children due to their age. Children can access the toilets in the Nursery classroom.
The KS1 playground (also known as the Church playground) provides a host of activities with a designated set of equipment, which includes building equipment, jumping and skipping resources and creative opportunities. Toilets are located outside the Year 1 classrooms.
The KS2 Playground (also known as the big playground) has the largest number of children and the open space necessary for children to let off steam, develop physical skills and refine their sporting skills. There is access to the adventure playground, football and basketball on a rota, plus table tennis, table football, building blocks and chalks for artistic endeavors. There is also a quieter area for children to talk, do crafts, read and relax. There are separate toilets for boys and girls available in this playground.
Staff are expected to supervise, encourage and initiate play and physical activity for all children in whichever setting. They, supported by playground buddies from older years, help to solve any disputes that arise and ensure that no children are feeling lonely or left out. Staff and Playground Buddies help to encourage creative play and lead the playing of the ‘game of the week’. All our staff are committed to ensuring that breaktimes are happy and productive times for all the children in our school.
101 Playground Games by Therese Hoyle
Every week we select a game from this book to teach to the children.
Lunch Time Angels
If your tummy rumbles, come and have some of our crumble! We sweep the floor so when you come through the door everything is spotless! Mathias Year 6
I like helping Mr Schumm and Cookie because I get to know everyone in the school better, and it makes me happy knowing that I can help the younger children enjoy their lunch experience. Lucas Year 6Z
As a lunch angel I am very fortunate to be able to put a smile on a younger child’s face when I give them a sticker or applaud them for finishing their lunch. Ruth Year 6A
Being a lunchtime angel means we help and encourage children to eat all of their food and help clear up at the end. I enjoy serving the ‘Weekly Wednesday’ pudding and seeing all the smiling, happy faces! Eliza Year 6A
It makes me feel joyful and happy to help other children and put a smile on their faces when they get a sticker for eating all their food. Alexa Year 6A
I love being able to solve problems! I remember once Lolly and I saw a boy on his own looking a bit sad, so we went up to him, helped him find some friends and he was much happier after that. It was an amazing feeling to have helped someone. Arianna Year 6Z
I feel great helping children and seeing them play happily without worry and with no arguments. Lolly Year 6Z
I love being a playground Buddy because I love playing games with the little children and it feels good to solve arguments. Stephie Year 6A
I love being a Playground Buddy because I can help children who feel sad or lonely and make sure everyone has someone to play with. Lilia Year 6A
I was walking around with my friends when a little boy came up to me and said “Can you stop my friends arguing?” I went over with him and sorted the argument out. It was really heartwarming for me that someone I don’t know very well can trust me. Hal Year 6Z
I like being a Playground Buddy because it’s really fun to play with younger children and it also makes me feel much more responsible. It’s a pleasure to help anyone with worries and solve any problems. Nicola Year 6Z
I love being a Playground Buddy as I get to help people and put a smile on people’s faces. I remember a time when I helped a Year 2 boy. He was upset because he had fallen out with a friend, so I taught him a fun game and made him happy. Ava Year 6A
It’s good being a Playground Buddy because it means you can help anyone with an injury and take them to the medical room if they need some TLC. Louis Year 6A
It is amazing being a Playground Buddy as I get to help a lot of kids have fun. Sam Year 6A
I am enjoying being a Playground Buddy as I get to help kids if they are upset and I feel good for helping.
Erin Year 6A
It makes me happy being able to help out in the playground at lunch time. It’s helpful for the lunchtime staff on duty too. Freja Year 6Z
Ever since I started I have loved it and lots of children are now asking me to play. I have been helping solve problems with my fellow buddies. We play lots of games and make sure everyone is included. We love being with the younger children.
Thelma Year 6Z