In the Zone
In the Zone update
Since the launch of ‘In The Zone’ in April 2005. Primary Schools in local Authorities across Wales have benefited from support and training designed to enable them to better utilise their playground at lunchtime.
To date, over 200 schools have benefited from ‘In the Zone’. Conwy and Caerphilly highlighted playground development as a priority area during last schools year. All primary schools in Conwy were involved in ‘In the Zone’. In Caerphilly the Sports Development unit has been proactive in securing funding to support the implementation of In The Zone from two sources, NOF and the Health Alliance. Initially ‘In the Zone’ was only offered to PESS Development Centre schools but the additional funding has enabled them to offer it to all schools as a prerequisite for having new playground markings. 39 schools submitted applications and the grant of just over £50,000 allows them to provide markings in all schools that applied. In addition, they successfully applied for a Health Alliance grant to deploy an ‘In the Zone’ tutor. Currently 24 schools have received training covering 104 mid-day supervisors and 12 Learning Support Assistants.
Feedback identified that ‘In The Zone’ has been particularly beneficial to schools whose yards are small and uninspiring. One such school in the borough has adopted the scheme wholeheartedly. The school had issues with one sport dominating the yard and with a high number of accidents and injuries during playtimes. Since introducing ‘In The Zone’ the daily total for accidents has decreased from between 15 and 20 per day to just one or two. The head attributes this to the improved structure of the yard and the greater variety of activities available to the children. The school has also introduced a rota for big team games such as football, which have a tendency to dominate the yard and intimidate younger pupils. The school has created a ‘Team Zone’ where pupils can play different games on allocated days. The school also enforces a ‘no football’ day that encourages pupils to try different games in different zones.
Staff and supervisors have seen a noticeable difference in pupil behaviour during playtime and in lessons with concentration levels also improving in afternoon lessons.