Outdoor Multi-Skills Zones – The Ideal Sports Premium Investment

If you are looking for an ideal way to use this year’s Sports Premium Funding, then a multi-skills zone may be the answer. These highly versatile zones enable primary schools to make sustainable improvements to their PE and sports provision: developing skills, increasing activity levels and enabling greater participation in a multitude of activities.

An overview of Sports Premium Funding

Set to run until 2020, the Primary PE and Sports Premium is a £150 million per annum initiative designed to improve the provision of PE and sport in schools throughout England. During the initiative, any school with more than 17 pupils aged five to eleven receives £8,000 a year plus £5 per pupil. Those with fewer than 17 on roll, receive £500 per pupil.

Requirements of Sports Premium Funding

The key stipulation of the initiative is that funding must be spent on additional and sustainable improvements to the provision of PE and sport and that these must be for the benefit of all pupils to encourage them to lead healthy, active lifestyles.

In other words, the money a school receives has to add to or improve PE and sports provision and do so in a way that benefits all pupils over the long term.

To ensure that the funding is spent as instructed, schools may be asked to provide evidence to inspectors that shows the impact of the Sports Premium on PE and sports provision and how this has improved pupil health and activity levels.

How can you spend your Sports Premium Funding?

There are quite a few ways you can use the funds, here are some of the main ones:

  • purchase equipment that extends provision or encourages activity
  • introduce new sporting or physical activities to encourage wider pupil participation
  • train existing teachers to deliver new sports or improve existing skills
  • hire specialist coaches to work alongside teaching staff
  • run extracurricular clubs and activities for the least active children
  • host sporting competitions, including interschool events

Why install multi-skill zones with Sports Premium funding?

A multi-skills zone provides the ideal solution for how to invest your Sports Premium Funding because it meets all the criteria that the fund stipulates.

With regard to sustainability, the playground markings used to create a multi-skills zone are very long lasting, ensuring that your investment is there for years to come. What’s more, they are always available to use, no matter what time of year.

Here at ESP play, we also provide multi-skills zone training for staff and pupils and, once this is delivered, not only does everyone have the equipment, they also have the necessary know-how to use them effectively well into the future – increasing their sustainability even more.

Besides sustainability, playground multi-skills zones are also incredibly versatile. They can be used during curriculum time and for extra-curricular activities: breakfast clubs, fitness clubs and even for playing games during lunch and break times.

This versatility ensures that more pupils can take advantage of them, helping everyone to increase activity levels and develop skills. Indeed, multi-skills zones are designed to encompass all the skills areas that primary schools need to cover and which children need to learn as they get older: agility, balance, coordination, stability, stamina and physical awareness. They are also great for developing footwork (including combination routines), jumping and ball skills such as kicking, passing, bouncing, throwing and target hitting.

Whether they are being used to train pupils for specific sports or being played on for fun, multi-skills zones help develop fundamental movement skills, while increasing physical activity levels and the participation of the least active children.

Equipment you can use

With an extraordinary range of playground markings to choose from, it is possible for schools to create their own, bespoke multi-skills zones tailored for their specific needs. There are age appropriate designs, markings for specific skill development and those which can be used for a variety of purposes, including playing games and having fun at lunch and break times. All of them are designed to encourage children of different ages and interests to get active.

While our ‘Famous Five’ multi-skills markings are very popular with primary PE teachers, enabling them to work with groups of children on a range of different skills within one area, there are plenty of others to choose from. Other popular markings include our multi-skills circle, agility ladder and trainer trail. Besides these, there are hurdle markings, a ball catcher trainer, football skills zone, fast feet trainers and many more.


While receiving the Sports Premium Funding is a welcome bonus for any primary school, finding equipment that enables you to provide sustainable improvement to PE provision can be a challenge. Creating an outdoor multi-skills zone using playground markings is one way to tick all the boxes, especially when you opt for our nationally accredited ESP Level 1 Multi-Skills Training. With equipment and training combined, you’ll be able to show improvement well into the future.

For more information, take a look at our range of multi-skills products or call us on 01282 43 44 45.

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