The opening, attended by staff, students, and State Member for Summer Hill Jo Haylen, was a celebration of the fun children would have in the new play area and an opportunity to thank those in Ms Haylen’s office who helped the school apply for the Building and Community Partnerships grant that funded it.
We can have fun climbing on the play equipment and working out the best way to get to the top
Principal Jo Flynn said the school deliberately chose equipment that would help enhance student’s gross motor skills, co-ordination and physical activity levels, and placed it to maximise available space for free and structured play.
“Having a safe space to play adds to children’s learning – research shows regular participation in physical activity and higher levels of physical fitness have been linked to improved academic performance and brain functions, such as attention and memory.”
“Lack of playground space is an issue at some schools and while St Patrick’s does not have a large playground it now has one that utilises the existing space well and provides a variety of play options for the students,” she said.
Year 2 student Xavier Brogan has been enjoying the new equipment, which was completed at the end of July. He said he and his friends felt the play area was a great addition to their school’s outdoor space as it offered a range of new options for lunchtime fun.
“We can have fun climbing on the play equipment and working out the best way to get to the top, sliding down the pole, and using our imagination when we are playing in the shop area by pretending we are selling real food to real customers at the St Patrick’s Café.”