How playground markings can help achieve an outstanding Ofsted rating
Ofsted inspections will typically occur every four years and every school should be aiming to achieve an outstanding rating (Grade 1). In all cases this means the school also needs to meet the criteria for a good rating (Grade 2). Playground markings can be a fantastic resource in helping your school achieve this.
How the inspector evaluates the school
Inspectors will call prior to their visit to discuss the progress the school has made since its last inspection. If your playground was highlighted as an area for improvement, playground markings will ensure this is achieved as they factor in three key elements – provision of education, entertainment and physical activity.
Inspectors will talk to and observe pupils in a range of situations outside normal lessons including during break times or playtimes and during enrichment activities such as after school clubs.
As part of the inspection and as well as a questionnaire to gather the views of pupils, the Ofsted inspector will also gather the views of the pupils’ parents. This will include how happy their child is at the school and how the school manages bullying or challenging behaviour. It is therefore important to ensure that the parents are happy with the quality of outdoor play provision and the environment at their child’s school.
How playground markings can help
The Government’s School Inspection Handbook states that the inspector will make judgements on four key areas at your school. They include; the quality of education, behaviour and attitudes, personal development, and leadership and management. Playground markings can help you achieve outstanding ratings in at least three of these disciplines. Let’s take a look at how.
Quality of education
When making judgements on the quality of education, the inspectors will look at the curriculum and if it is delivered in a way that allows pupils to transfer new knowledge to long-term memory and into larger ideas. Using playground markings will reinforce what children might have learnt in the classroom. Enabling them to practise it during break times will increase the chances of them remembering the information. Not to mention, some of the activities and games we provide, such as our Dance With Me or Mirror Me playground markings, specifically encourage development of memory skills. A good memory will allow children to achieve success and a high standard of work.
The research for the EIF (Education Inspection Framework) suggests that children need to be taught phonemic awareness, the sound-spelling relationships in words and how to say the sounds that make up words. These concepts need to be presented clearly, and children’s reading development needs to be aided by a literature-rich environment. We have a range of different phonics markings that can assist with this as well as encouraging appropriate discussions between their peers. Our Under the Sea Phonics, Phonics Pond and Phonics Flower Bed are available in both phases 2 and 3, and are a great way to present the subject as well as encourage learning.
For Early Years education, the inspector will be looking at staff and how they develop children’s communication and language through singing nursery rhymes and playing games. They will also look at the children and whether they demonstrate their attitudes and behaviours through playing and exploring, active learning and creative thinking. We have a fantastic range of educational playground markings perfect for inspiring active learning and play!
Behaviour and attitudes
In order to achieve an outstanding rating in this area, your school will need to create a positive environment where bullying is not tolerated. Pupils need to feel safe, have positive attitudes towards their education and have a high attendance rate.
Playground markings are great for assisting with this. Our fun games can be used as rewards or incentives to encourage good behaviour. Plus, we can also supply bespoke markings such as friendship stops. These are useful for encouraging friendly behaviour in the playground and help pupils to form good relationships with each other.
School logos are brilliant for enhancing the welcome on arrival at the school and support a good reputation. This, coupled with the bright colours and entertaining activities of playground markings, will contribute towards a feeling of a safe and positive environment.
What’s more, when children enjoy playing games and having fun in their playground as part of the school day, they are more likely to have a positive attitude towards their learning, which, in turn, will help to improve attendance rate.
The School Inspection Handbook states that schools should have a curriculum that extends beyond the academic and provides for pupils’ moral, social, and cultural development. Some playground markings we offer that could support this include our Learning Languages and our Core Values playground markings. Most, if not all, our playground games can be played with in groups which will also help to develop social skills.
A lot of the different activities, such as our mazes or targets, will support character building and develop confidence and independence amongst pupils which is something else the inspector will be looking for.
It’s also stated that an outstanding school will have a wide range of opportunities to nurture, develop and stretch pupils’ talents and interests. Providing a range of different playground markings will help to support this, from sports markings, to educational markings that might include subjects such as literacy, numeracy, science and geography.
Additionally, your school will need to make sure that pupils know how to eat healthy, maintain an active lifestyle and keep physically and mentally healthy. Using different markings such as Active Trails, Mile a Day and Active Spot Circuits will ensure that there are plenty of opportunities for children to take physical exercise during the school day. Having Sports Courts will also enable competitive games and the possibility of after school sports clubs, supporting children to be active and develop physically. It is well known that regular exercise contributes to a good mental health so having these activities in the playground will certainly help you to achieve a good grade in this area.
If you would like to speak to our friendly team, either for advice on what playground markings are best, or for a quote, we will be happy to help. Contact us on 0800 061 4243 or complete a contact form.