Pupils at Bradley Stoke’s Wheatfield Primary School recently celebrated the official opening of a Scrapstore PlayPod in their playground.
Operating under the motto “making wastethings playthings”, PlayPod is a holistic process that works with the entire school community to change both the human and physical play environment, transforming play at lunchtimes.
The purpose built, walk-in structure contains a vast collection of materials and objects that businesses routinely throw away, from giant flexible tubes, crates and netting to unwanted phones, keyboards, packaging and workwear.
Scrapstore PlayPods have been shown to transform children’s daily experiences at school by encouraging them to play together across age and friendship groups and to take and assess risk for themselves. PlayPods have also reduced the level of playground disputes, which means teachers spend less time in the classroom dealing with issues after the lunchtime break and that children return to the classroom energised and ready to learn.
The Friends of Wheatfield Primary School raised £15,000 to set up the PlayPod. As well as providing the PlayPod structure, the money also funded a programme of training for lunchtime supervisors and ongoing support from the Scrapstore PlayPod organisation.
Jeff Hill, Children’s Scrapstore Chief Executive, said:
“We’re delighted to see the PlayPod being so well received at Wheatfield Primary School. We’re now receiving enquiries for PlayPods from across the South West region. They can make a real difference to life at school. Children enjoy playing with the waste items and headteachers report that children are happier and more ready to learn after a ‘PlayPod lunchtime’, with significant improvements in reported behaviour.”
“We all know from our own experience that young children are often as happy to play with the box as with the toy that comes in it and this is the same principle with a Scrapstore PlayPod. It gives children something wonderful to play with in the playground, using their imaginations and learning to work together which are all vital parts of a child’s development.”
Dr Who actor Arthur Darvill, who plays Rory Williams in the hit BBC series and is a new Patron for the Children’s Scrapstore, said:
“The PlayPod is a lot like the TARDIS really … simple-looking on the outside but a world of magic and wonder within. Watching the children playing with all this stuff I wonder how we haven’t thought of it before. They’re active, excited, working together and using their imaginations. What’s also noticeable is that no child is left out. It’s fantastic to see the kids having so much fun with things that would otherwise be thrown away.”
Photo: Members of the school’s Friends Group hand over a cheque for £15,000.
More photos from the official opening on PicasaWeb.
[Ed: The official opening took place on Friday 19th October 2012. Apologies for the delay in publishing this story.]
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