Interactive playground markings encourage pupils to be more active during breaktimes

Pupils from seven schools across the Vale of Glamorgan took part in Active Playgrounds — a pilot project launched by the Vale Healthy Living Team to promote physical activity in the school playground.  

The Active Playgrounds project saw seven schools across the Vale of Glamorgan introduce active play markings to their playgrounds encouraging pupils to be active through mixed games, dancing and jumping. 

One school that took part was Fairfield Primary School in Penarth. As part of the pilot, 10 pupils wore pedometers at school for five days before the installation of the playground markings and for five days following the installation. 

Data from the pedometers show there was a 58% increase in steps amongst the 10 children following the installation of the markings — on average, the pupils did around 240,000 steps before the installation and 410,000 once they had been installed.

As well as more than doubling their steps, staff at the school also said their pupils used their own imaginations to create their own games using the markings and reported seeing an improvement in skills such as jumping and throwing.

Speaking of the pilot, a PE coordinator and teacher at the school said: “This will greatly increase the participation in activity at play and lunch times as our yard is a bit of a concrete jungle. Children will love to have something to use to help facilitate their play”.

It’s thought that around 180+ school children will benefit from the project at Fairfield Primary School long term. 

Other schools to take part in the pilot include: 

  • St Richard Gwyn Comprehensive
  • Fairfield Primary
  • St Davids Primary
  • Dewi Sant Primary
  • Wick Primary
  • Holton Primary
  • Palmerston Primary School,

The Healthy Living Team will publish a full evaluation of the Active Playgrounds project once the pilot is complete. The evaluation will also include feedback from Palmerston Primary School in Barry which has installed a ‘Daily Mile’ marker to encourage pupils to complete a mile lap circuit.