Sacred Heart Boys Primary School, Belfast receive Quality Mark for Taking Outdoor Play Seriously (TOPS)

05-July-22
Sacred Heart Boys Primary School, Belfast receive Quality Mark for Taking Outdoor Play Seriously (TOPS)

Sacred Heart Boys Primary School, Belfast is the latest recipient of a quality award in recognition of their outstanding outdoor play offer. Awarded by PlayBoard NI, the lead organisation for the development of children and young people’s play, the Taking Outdoor Play Seriously (TOPS) Award is presented to schools for their commitment to making their pupils’ outdoor play experience the best that it can be.

Supported by the Department of Education and facilitated by PlayBoard, the TOPS training programme and quality award supported the schools over the past academic year to develop and transform their external environment to encourage and deliver quality outdoor play.

Principal Mrs Smyth said “Play is such an important part of a child’s learning developing core gross and fine motor skills. It also enhances their social and emotional development and is a great tool to enhance positive attitude and a readiness to learn. We are delighted with receiving this Quality Mark and the children are so proud as they were involved every step of the way.”

Shauneen McCusker, Play Development Officer, PlayBoard said: It was an absolute delight to work with the staff at this school. Although they have vast outdoor space it was a challenge to get the right play zones for the pupils’ play needs. However, this did not stop their determination in creating the best outdoor play for their pupils. It was the children that helped make the decisions. On the day of the award their passion was evident in the lovely ceremony and the children are now having so much fun. Well Done!

Chief Executive of the Council for Catholic Maintained Schools Gerry Campbell said “Catholic Schools are an exemplar of educational provision. This award is positive recognition of the service and professionalism of the Senior Leadership Team and staff at Sacred Heart Boys Primary School. I am inspired that the voice of the children was at the heart of the creation of this outdoor learning space which will benefit the community for generations to come. It is representative of the ethos of Catholic education which promotes the benefits of holistic learning to enable children to reach their full potential and is testament to the quality of the educational provision at the school. On behalf of all at CCMS I extend congratulations to the whole school community’

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