Canopies UK

Bolton school wins £10,000 canopy in Operation Playground

Posted on | Posted in Education, Latest News

A school in Bolton has won a £10,000 canopy from Darwen firm Canopies UK, after beating off competition from over 200 others in an initiative called Operation Playground.

Red Lane Primary School, in the Breightmet area of Bolton, have won the prize after students at the school worked together to devise their own playground game. The scheme, which was tied into national curriculum objectives, aimed to promote active learning and encourage children to spend more time outdoors.

And it was student Austeja Smolevskis, aged 10, who came up with the winning entry after the school chose and submitted her game ‘Word Workout’ to Canopies UK. The game combines the popular children’s game ‘Tig’ with spelling and mental skills.

One pupil must collect up to ten cards each bearing a letter that makes up a word. The cards are collected by ‘tigging’ all of their opponents called the ‘Word Wizards’, who each carry one of the letters. Once they have all the cards they have to then guess the word thought of by the ‘Word Wizards’ to try and score a point. If they fail to get it right then the wizards get the point instead.

Jason Heatley, Deputy Head Teacher at Red Lane Primary School, said: “Operation Playground has allowed the pupils within our school to consider how they can improve playtimes and design games that all children can participate in. It is a great pleasure to watch the children playing a game that they have invented, that they have implement and manage.”

And on winning the £10,000 canopy for the school he added: “The introduction of a canopy within school will provide the opportunity for children to use and enjoy the outdoor environment, especially during bad weather. I would like to thank Canopies UK for firstly devising the competition as this gave our pupils the inspiration to consider playtimes and what they enjoy doing.”

Austeja’s fellow student Anthony Rookes, aged 11, added: “It was a good experience for all the pupils and staff here at Red Lane. It made us realise how fun games can be, even when we learn.”

Elaine Morris, Managing Director of Canopies UK, said: “Red Lane Primary School’s entry really captured what we wanted to achieve from the campaign. This was about giving children a creative outlet for enjoying physical activity and helping them to understand the benefits of doing so regularly, whilst also being able to have some fun.

“Operation Playground encourages children to build skills in key areas from communication and writing to PE. The winning entry shows just how something different can stimulate children into enjoying school and education at the same time. We’re so thrilled to be able to give back to such a deserving school.”