The new Rayner Play Space has certainly been a hit with our students, from Reception to Year 6. The ability to create a play space, that suits such a wide age group is a tribute to Dirtwork Landscapes and to the children who helped design this space.

As with all new things, we diligently conducted a risk assessment for all children to view. We then created times for children to use the play space with their class only. Once all classes had viewed the PowerPoint presentation and had a class "play" there, learning about the possibilities and variety of options, we were ready to allow all children, R-6, to use the space as they wish. Reception and Year 1 students have the honour of being the only year levels with access to the playground during recess, providing them with an additional opportunity to explore with great freedom.

This ties in beautifully with a professional development experience I attended on Monday with Tim Gill and Madhavi Nawana Parker. The workshop focused on Benefits of Risky Play, there were so many takeaways from this, including the importance of risky play and ensuring that we can allow risk-benefit analysis.

When children come across a risky play situation, it allows them to process and recognise it, and to participate in appropriate risk analysis themselves. This, in turn, supports the same process as teenagers and adults.

Risky play allows children to learn their own limits and find out what they feel comfortable with. This awareness helps reduce the risk of injury as children learn to identify the point when they might need to stop to reassess the situation. Our new playground certainly allows for this, as well as collaboration, teamwork, fun, and many elements of gross motor skill development.

Cathie Egarr
Deputy Principal