Childrens Drawing

Can your school beat Uplands Junior School in Operation Playground?

Uplands Blog 1Uplands Junior School in Wolverhampton has become the first school to take part and submit their entry in Canopies UK’s new initiative Operation Playground.

Launched last month, and running until the end of 28th November, the initiative is aimed at promoting active learning in schools and encouraging children to participate more in outdoor activities beneficial to their education.

203 schools, from as north as Lionel School on the Isle of Lewis to as far south as Treverbyn Academy in St Austell, Cornwall, have currently downloaded the teacher’s pack available for the initiative.

And Uplands Junior School have ensured they have put themselves in contention to win the prize of a £10,000 school canopy with their game ‘Simon’s Ball’ created by pupils George Wise and Jack Lucas in Year 3.

Uplands 2.5Simon’s Ball is a combination of ‘Simon Says’ and a game involving catching and throwing. The children have ensured that the game is adaptable and inclusive for everyone including children both able-bodied and with disabilities.

The whole school of 375 pupils took part in the initiative by creating their own playground game. A winner was chosen from each year group before the eventual winner of Simon’s Ball was selected by headteacher Suzanne Webster-Smith and the school’s PE co-ordinator, Lauren Richards.

Lauren said: “The whole school have really enjoyed the week we spent on this and the buzz it created around school. All children were very excited.”

Uplands 4.5Teacher Audra Shakesheave, whose class George and Jack are part of, added: “My class enjoyed playing Simon’s Ball. They were all engaged and joined in easily.

“The game can be flexible using a beanbag, softball or balls with a bell; everyone can join in. It is a great game for all.”

Uplands 5.5The game also received the thumbs up from other children playing too. Jessica, a pupil at the school, told Canopies UK that “it is unique, clever and fun” and that nothing could be done to improve the game although she did advise that players may sweat from all the running around they do. Fellow pupil Alexandra added: “Everybody can play and it’s very funny.”

Managing Director of Canopies UK, Elaine Morris, offered growing praise for the school and in particular George and Jack.

“Uplands Junior School have created a great game here and George and Jack have taken the time to think about the game and how they can involve everyone.

Uplands Blog 3“They have done some great drawings for us and we they should give themselves a pat on the back for the effort they have put in.

“When we came up with the idea for Operation Playground, this is exactly what we wanted to achieve: fun and enjoyment for taking part, whilst also learning different skills in the process.

“It is clear that Uplands Junior School had some great fun during the week they did Operation Playground and they have set a good standard already for other schools taking part. We look forward to seeing those other the coming days and weeks!”

Are you a primary school teacher and think your class can do better than Uplands Junior School? Why not visit our Operation Playground page and download the pack today!

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