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Leith primary school playground has been sorely neglected over the last 5 years due to a variety of building works and funding constraints. The school has recently got a new gym hall and nursery which means that with building work complete we can now focus on providing a much needed, revamped playground.
The school roll sits at around 420 children and reflects the rich diversity of the wider Leith community which it serves. The parent council wants to support the school in developing an outside space which is safe, creative and exciting and will support the physical, emotional and educational growth of all the children who use it. We believe that for many children having a space to exercise and run off steam at break and lunchtime is important and a great opportunity for our pupils to improve their physical fitness. This is especially important in a densely populated area like Leith where very few children have a garden to play in.
We also know that this space needs to meet other needs too. Currently 10% of the school population has some form of ASD diagnosis and we want a playground that will help these children reach their full potential too.
We also appreciate that the outside space isn’t just used for break times but provides an extension to the classroom across a broad range of the curriculum and we want to support the teaching staff by providing the right environment to do this. We are aware of a raft of research looking at the importance of physical activity, opportunities for play, connections with nature and attractive, functional surroundings in improving the outcome for children and adults alike and want to build these into our plans.
The playground is also a part of the wider community and we want to create something that the school and wider community can be proud of and will look to the whole school community – pupils, staff, parent and community partners to feed in their ideas.