As part of our on-going efforts to improve lunchtimes and make our playgrounds a happier, more active place for all, we have introduced Lunchtime Leaders. We have listened to the children's views regarding lunchtimes and have worked hard to fulfil and address their concerns. Too many children felt that there was a lack of activities to do at lunchtime and as a result children were becoming bored, which at times was leading to arguments and fall outs. In an attempt to reduce such issues we have invested in new playground equipment and trained our lunchtime leaders.
These lunchtime leaders are children from year 5 and 6 that felt they could help at lunchtimes by leading and facilitating activities for children to participate in. Their role will be to deliver a broad range of activities, some of which are sport specific and some that are solemnly just to get the children more active at lunch time.
Throughout their training they have developed their communication skills, leadership skills, planning and organisation skills. They have all shown a real commitment and are all looking forward to leading activities on both playgrounds this term.
In an attempt to make the lunchtime leader programme even more successful and to ensure we have considered the need of all our children we have split the lunchtime playgrounds up into zones, which will be monitored by lunchtime leaders and overseen by the supervising TA's on arch playground. The following zones will now be visible on the playgrounds:-
> Quiet Zone.
On the KS1 playground this will involve reading and quiet paper activities (including colouring, drawing and problem solving pages.) On the KS2 playground this will involve reading and problem solving activities like Sudoku.
This zone gives children the opportunity to feel safe and happy in a quiet, reflective area.
> Active Zone.
On both playgrounds this will include races every week, alongside a chosen team weekly activity like hockey, netball, quick cricket, rounders, net and ball games, lacrosse and parachute games. The activity in Active Zone will change weekly.
By introducing this zone, as well as making the children more active, we hope to develop their teamwork and communication skills, whilst enhancing their technical ability and performance.
> Football Zone.
On each playground there will be a football pitch, led by a lunchtime leader who acts as an impartial referee. By introducing the referee there should be fewer football related arguments. Teams will also be chosen randomly to help develop teamwork.
On the ks2 playground there will be a rota for year groups. Monday is year 6, Tuesday is year 5, Wednesday is year 4 and Thursday is year 3. Friday will be pot luck match. As each year group plays on their chosen day, if they have played well without argument their year group will go in the pot luck bag. At the end of the week a ball will be pulled from the bag and that year group with have the pitch on that day. This is to avoid arguments of certain year groups 'hogging' the pitch and also means that children will be rewarded for demonstrating appropriate behaviour.
> Craze Zone.
This zone will involve a different craze each week. Such activities will include traditional playground games, circus skills, skipping, board games, darts, parachute games, cup stacking competitions and many more planned activities.
> Free Zone.
There will still be an area on both playgrounds for children that do not want to participate in any planned activities and want to just socialise or play their own friendship games.
Lunchtime Leaders will change daily and the children will need to take their lunch time at the allocated times, depending on the playground they are based on for that day. The leaders will be easily recognised by their orange leader vest and will be able to accumulate hours to work towards their bronze, silver or gold award. Their performance as a leader will also be monitored, ensuring that they are continuously demonstrating positive leadership skills.
The aim of the lunchtime leaders isn't just to add more structure to lunchtimes, it will give the leaders invaluable experiences whilst providing them with the responsibility to deliver high quality activities. Helping to achieve our overall aim of making lunchtimes at Gray’s Farm a happier place to be.