Only by switching to an “innovative mindset” will schools realise the true power of play, is the advice being given by Playinnovation founder and industry expert, Marco Boi.
Although schools are becoming more open to investing in less traditional and more forward-thinking sport and play areas, Marco says there’s still work to be done to change an outdated perception of play in the education sector, and for teachers and governing bodies to realise the full range of health and social benefits that can be achieved by going beyond the status quo.
Marco said: “If we can think innovatively to create sport and play areas that are fun, vibrant, interesting and truly inclusive, where all ages and abilities feel welcome and can enjoy being active together, it will have some extremely positive effects for pupils.
“Part of this is looking for ways to raise participation levels amongst less confident children by offering multiple spaces around schools that create diverse environments for sport and play, where all pupils can find activities to be involved in, whether by themselves or in groups – learning skills in their own time, at their own pace.”
Rather than simply following the prescriptive route and choosing familiar equipment, such as trim trails and climbing frames, Marco explains that it doesn’t have to be an all-or-nothing exercise, but, instead, traditional equipment can be combined with the highly innovative to maximise the value of sport and play areas for all pupils.