Meeting Ofsted’s expectations can be incredibly stressful for a school due to how important it is. Getting a great rating can easily boost your popularity and gain you more students. Believe it or not though, one thing both Ofsted and students look for when picking a school is the playground.
There are many ways you can meet Ofsted requirements for outdoor play with various types of equipment and a range of games. View this post as well to learn more about play activities to meet the National Curriculum objectives.
Key Things Ofsted Look for in Playgrounds
Inspections by Ofsted can be incredibly confusing for a school if they don’t know what kind of stuff to do to meet their expectations. Luckily, Ofsted release tips which schools can focus on to improve their overall rating and outdoor play provision and playgrounds. Some points made by them include:
- Outdoor learning is fun – The outdoor environment should be enthralling and stimulating, whilst also being thought-provoking.
- All seasons – Schools should extend all-year-round opportunities for learning outdoors and finding adventure.
- Good usage – Teachers should know the right time to bring children outside to learn and try to avoid excessive use or minimum use.
- Limitations to outdoor learning – Certain subjects/activities cannot be done since the school does not have a suitable learning environment.
- Lack of focus and purpose – If a playground has too many unrelated; the playground can end up losing its effect and therefore, has no clear purpose or focus.
From these few points, you should be able to see how important playgrounds are and how much they can affect the rating of a school. Following the key things Ofsted look for in playgrounds will really help your rating and will also create a highly effective environment for kids to learn whilst having fun. You can also find out how to prepare your playground for winter to make sure it’s safe for the children to use.
Improving Your School Play Activities
Improving your playground can be a hard experience to undertake since you might not understand how it could be improved. However, there is always room for improvement regardless of how good it may be. There’re a few different things you can do to make your playground even better and raise that rating you have.
Thermoplastic graphics are a great way to improve the playground. With the imaginative graphics and bright colours, kids can end up becoming entertained by them due to the requirement of imagination required. Mix with textures and bright colours and the flooring becomes a lot more enticing and interesting to look at. View this page to learn more about these graphics.
Another thing which can be done is including new equipment. Variety is then added to the playground and therefore, children won’t find themselves getting bored as quickly. The key thing is to try to avoid any kids getting bored throughout their time on the playground as this is a very clear indicator that your playground lacks any interesting activities/equipment.
Ofsted Recommendations for Primary School Play Areas
Ofsted look for certain factors and features in playgrounds to see if the school promote a healthy lifestyle in both physical and mental aspects. Looking at some of the reports Ofsted have released, the points they have made include:
- Variety of experiences – playgrounds shouldn’t just focus on one main activity, instead they should cover a wide range of different activities. With this, children will start to understand more about the world around them and therefore will have a stronger concept of certain topic areas.
- Outdoor learning – some resources should be constructed to assist with outdoor learning due to the benefits it can carry with it. Especially in the early years, outdoor learning can help with physical development.
- Promotion of literacy and numeracy – regardless of the playground, if it has some sort of activities/promotion of English and Maths skills then Ofsted believe the playground to be more beneficial for the children engaging with it.
- Imaginative play – creativity and imagination should be used by children when playing on the playground so any equipment/activities that promote this type of thinking is seen incredibly positively by Ofsted.
- Outdoor learning should be as effective as indoor learning – even though indoor learning is a lot more common and well-known, Ofsted believe the outdoor learning is equally as important and should be focused on equally as indoor learning.
It might not seem like much, but these are just a few recommendations which seem to be the most important, so you should try your best to make sure your playgrounds meet the expectations set by Ofsted. By doing this, you can increase your rating by a considerable amount, so it’s always important to keep these requirements in your head.
The video above shows our team installing an outdoor play surface for a primary school in Fulborn. This included the installation of wetpour safety flooring and an artificial grass lawn along with various types of equipment.
School Playground Design Specialists
When it comes to designing your playground to meet Ofsted’s expectations, there’s no better company to call than Soft Surfaces. Creating a playground like this requires a strong knowledge of what children want and Ofsted’s criteria, which can be incredibly frustrating and confusing for a lot of other people. There are many types of primary school play equipment which you could consider if you want to make the outdoor space more interactive.
However, with over 20 years of experience and countless installations as school playground design specialists, Soft Surfaces are prepared to help you with every step of the process. Whether it’s design or installation, our team will be more than happier to talk you through each step to make sure that you are fully understanding of what’s happening.
Ranging from EYFS activities to KS2 playgrounds, our group of professionals will make sure that the installation is carried out with the utmost efficiency. Again, our strong knowledge of this industry makes us one of the best companies to go to for these types of jobs. If you have any queries about Ofsted requirements for outdoor play, send us an enquiry today!