Lunchtime and Outside Development

Dear Parents/Carers

As some of you may be aware, following discussions I have had with many of the children on the slope and at playtimes I am in the process of reviewing our lunchtime arrangements. I have been working with another local Head Teacher and a Teacher from the Bucks Pupil Referral Unit (who offer behaviour support and guidance to schools) to review our current offer in order to improve the experience for the children at Burford School.

You may not be aware that Burford was built for 210 children and now houses 428 (not including the nursery) and whilst the internal structure of the building has been updated (kitchen removed and dining hall turned into classroom, the Year 2 block built and ‘art breakout’ rooms being converted into classrooms) the external space has been sadly neglected over the 47 year life of the school.

Whilst behaviour at Burford is generally of a very high standard, any issues we encounter usually happen at lunchtime, accounting for 5 hours a week. Resolving the issues can often transfer to learning time in the afternoon. As previously mentioned I would like to enhance the experience the children have during this social time and provide them with the resources and space they need to succeed.

The week before half term (weather permitting) will see the old and worn playground markings updated and over the next few weeks I am going to be gradually introducing new provision to the lunchtime offer, including more toys and games to play with, a quiet offering in the form of reading and colouring opportunities.

This is much more achievable in the spring and summer months when we can utilise our grass spaces. In the wet and winter months this is much more challenging and as a result I have recently met with the FoB committee and we have agreed that improving the outside space will be our big fundraising focus with a series of milestones to be confirmed. Current initial starting points for consideration include redeveloping the garden area in between Year 2 and the Music block into a new quiet area, utilising the hexagon as a space and even the potential to create a Multi-Use Games Area (MUGA) on the top field, allowing for the current ball court to be removed and create more space for creative and imaginative play. Should anyone have suggestions for activities or areas of the site which could be developed to achieve this aim, please send me an email or speak to members of the FoB committee who will be looking at the scope of the project with me. I would once again like to thank FoB for the huge contributions they have made to improving our indoor space (music room, hall extension) and the revamping of the Reception garden which will take place over the summer holiday. FoB will support the school in working towards the delivery of the ‘big ticket’ items whilst also supporting smaller projects to enhance the school experience.

If you have any garden games or toys (e.g. Giant Jenga, Giant Connect 4, Outdoor Twister, etc) or unused colouring books, pencils/felt pens please let me know but speak to me before dropping anything off; the generosity you show at our fayres indicate I may be inundated with offers!

I will continue to update you on the developments in the coming weeks.

Mr Garner

Recent Posts