Are you looking for an affordable and effective way to breathe new life into a tired school playground? If you are, then playground markings may be the ideal solution. Inexpensive, easy to install and long-lasting, there are countless designs you can choose from and they bring many benefits to the school and the pupils.
Improving health and fitness
According to the NHS, children aged five to eighteen should have at least one hour of physical activity every day. Achieving this, however, is proving difficult. Many children don’t get regular exercise at home, PE time in school is limited, many schools have short lunch breaks with little time to play and lots of children aren’t active during free time.
The key to improving the health and fitness of your students is in getting them to be active during the limited time they are in the playground. For those with budgets that can’t stretch to climbing equipment or an outdoor gym, playground markings are the cost-effective option.
Installing sports markings, for example, can motivate large numbers of children to participate in team sports such as netball, football or basketball. There is also a wide range of markings designed especially for fun and games. There’s everything from mini roadways, to footwork chess, to a variety of hopscotch games.
Better PE provision
When schools install sports markings, they are getting resources that have a dual purpose. Not only can they helpful for getting children active, they can also be used for PE. The markings for pitches, mentioned above, can be used to extend the variety of sports that the school can teach. There are markings for football, futsal (five-a-side soccer), netball, basketball, cricket, tennis and rounders. If you are short of space, you can even install a multi-court which overlays different pitch markings in different colours.
In addition, there is a selection of physical skills markings that can be used, these can help with footwork, balance, agility, target practice, hurdles, bouncing and catching, etc. You can even set up a multi-skills zone.
Extending learning beyond the classroom
There are now playground markings designed to enhance the academic curriculum. Children love to play on these bright and attractively designed markings during break times and they can also be incorporated into outdoor lessons.
For literacy, there are markings such as alphabet targets, footwork vowels, letter steps and phonetic spots. For maths, there are 1-100 number grids, shapes and ladders, number arches, matrices and clock targets. For other subjects, you can choose from compass hopscotch, compass rings and weather markings.
At ESP Play, we even have markings designed to help younger children with road safety. These include mini roadways, zebra crossings, traffic lights, roundabouts (with direction arrows) and a mini car park.
Developing social skills
When children play together, especially in larger numbers, there is more opportunity for them to develop important social skills. Many of the markings used for sports and games will help pupils with key skills such as turn taking, patience, respect for others and empathy.
At the same time, children will need to interact in order to play together or when asking other children for a turn on a game. This will help them become better negotiators and improve their ability to resolve disputes. It can also lead to new friendships.
According to Public Health England, physical activity has a direct link with classroom behaviour. Some of the main benefits you can achieve through helping children become more active are improved social behaviour, better peer relationships and reduced classroom disruption.
Through installing playground markings, schools are able to increase activity rates and reduce the boredom that often causes problems to start. A recent study by Leeds Metropolitan University of the effects of our playground installations in 167 schools found they increased pupil activity levels by 14%. There was also an 11% improvement in citizenship.
As a result of using playground markings, schools should see pupil behaviour improve and benefit from the increased attainment that comes from a less disruptive classroom. Better behaviour, both in the classroom and the playground, is also something that will please Ofsted inspectors, parents, staff and pupils.
Not every school has the resources to finance large-scale playground equipment. Budgets are tight, grants are not always available, and it can be difficult to raise the money through the PTA. However, that doesn’t mean upgrading your playground is a no-go project. Playground markings are an affordable solution that can transform your outdoor space and the activities that go on there. They can make pupils happier, healthier, socially more adept and improve behaviour. In addition, they can extend your PE provision and take learning out of doors.
For more information, check out our full range of playground markings, or call us on 01282 43 44 45.