I have made a number of visits to Coryton Primary School in the last few months in addition to my normal visits as a school governor. There is a rather uninspiring play area at the rear of the school which has had equipment removed due to health and safety concerns. I have been working with the Council to try to secure money to improve the play area and we have managed to find this through 'planning gain' money from a nearby housing development.
Politicians often play lip service to consulting with young people but I thought that this was an ideal opportunity to give young people a real say and to be sure that we were providing the sort of play equipment that children and young people would actually want to use rather than what we as adults thought they would want.
Children in Year 5 were set the task of designing the play area and I was very impressed with the thoughtful imaginiative desgins they produced. Along with an Officer form the Parks Dept I went to speak to year 5 about their designs and asked them if they could choose equipment form a range of options which best fitted their idea of a good play area. We explained where the money had come from, how much the play area was likely to cost and the other considerations that the Council had to make such as health and saftey.
The children have chosen their favourites and officers are now working on getting the equipment installed. We have also asked the children to design a pathway which will go through the Centre of the play area and will be made from rubber surfacing. This will give lasting impression of the hard work the children have done on this project.