St John’s Primary School, Mullumbimby, has just undergone construction to create a new natural outdoor playground for students.
Teachers, parents and students were consulted throughout the entire process to ensure the whole school community had input.
The playground has given students space to further develop social skills, cooperation, and the ability to solve problems. It stimulates students’ imagination and creativity and helps them to appreciate nature and to learn about their environment.
Students have been very excited to utilise the space during their recess and lunch times. Teachers have also take the opportunity to use the space for lessons on a regular basis.
Clunes preschool’s new ‘risky’ play space
Meanwhile in Clunes, a multi-tiered play space has been completed at the Community Preschool, featuring uneven terrain, a mini ‘creek’ and a ‘ninja line’ borrowed from the Lismore Toy Library.
School vice-president Nicky Johnson said the space was recently redeveloped to encourage children to take more risks during play.
She says, ‘In addition, we have bikes, a sandpit, mud kitchen, pet chickens and a large undercover outdoor area for creative arts and group work. With a strong emphasis on nature, we work to develop children’s curiosity as well as their physical and social wellbeing.
‘Significant research supports the importance of taking risks during play; it challenges children to learn new skills, develop their physicality, and trust their bodies in a variety of settings.
‘An increasingly risk- averse society is making physically active, playful risk taking ever more difficult for children to practise.
‘The outdoor play space at Clunes Community Preschool is a safe, challenging place where children can test themselves and they are truly thriving.’