Oh my goodness, I don’t know about you, but I am sick of the rain this winter. Looking at a rainfall website for Auckland from mid June to mid July it rained on 23 out of 31 days and so far in August it has rained on 7 days out of 9.
Unfortunately, this has meant a disruption to the playing areas for children. Our field is well drained but the sheer volume of water almost daily has resulted in a very soft field. We have had to keep the field closed. The long term effect of a churned up field with areas where the grass would be worn away completely (ie goalmouths) and the areas where we have laid new turf destroyed, would seriously compromise the field during spring when athletics are held on the field and into summer where potholes left from the muddy patches would potentially be a danger to children using the field during PE. Not to mention children covered in mud traipsing into classrooms.
I have heard rumblings of discontent from a few parents because the field has been closed for an extended period. Believe me, if the ground were even a bit less soft we would have the field open. The closed field is as a safeguard for the quality of the field surface and safety of children moving into summer.
If we look at this issue another way, being on the courts and the banks has led to children playing different types of games, often with different groups than those they usually play with on the field. Each lunchtime I see children laughing and enjoying themselves, I haven’t yet seen mopey children because they can’t play on the field, the only time they mope is when they have to stay inside during lunchtime due to rain.
I updated everyone about the closed playgrounds in a previous newsletter this term and I am pleased to say that a group of students will start working on this project with Alison Laxon in the next week. They will be consulting with stakeholders (other children), developing an action plan, using the data from their consultation, to design playgrounds, looking at other playgrounds around Auckland, contacting and working with playground manufacturers and installers. We hope to have a concept available for Quiz Night so parents can get a sense of what the new playgrounds will look like. All being well, we expect the new playgrounds will be installed during the summer holidays.
In other property news, Ministry of Education engineers have been on site and reviewed the report that the engineer we employed provided and it looks as though we will finally get some go forward on the rooms 16 – 21 project. Fingers crossed the work may get underway early next year.
Great feedback from teachers about last night’s parent interviews. They are looking forward to sharing information with more parents tonight. These interviews are so important as teachers learn more about their students and parents learn about their child’s achievement, both academically and socially. It is such a great opportunity for information sharing.