Sport Bay of Plenty

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Tamariki call for play equipment at Ngongotaha School

Monday, November 29, 2021

The voice of tamariki at Ngongotaha Primary School has been heard loud and clear with the arrival of new play equipment thanks to funding support from Tū Manawa Active Aotearoa.

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For three years the school has provided in-class play-based learning, and ngā kaiako have been big advocates for the benefits to tamariki of the approach. In 2021, staff were eager to take it a step further and support play opportunities during break time.

“Through our reporting system we were able to see a definite trend of incidents occurring when children were uninvolved in any activities during their break times,” explains teacher and team leader Amy Wadsworth.

That observation led Amy and her team to start exploring options for loose parts play boxes that would help engage children in the schoolyard. With the encouragement of Sport Bay of Plenty’s play expert, Steph Reichardt, the teachers began to talk with their students to learn more about what they would like to play with during their breaks.

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The kōrero proved invaluable in helping Amy and her team develop an application for the Tū Manawa Active Aotearoa Fast Fund.

“From those discussions we were able to gain some really great insight into what tamariki thought would be most valuable and what would help them with free play during their intervals and lunchtimes,” says Amy.

“The kids mentioned things like mud kitchens to cook in, used tyres to help them build castles, and wood and tarps so they could build forts, pirate ships and camping areas.”

Armed with these insights Amy contacted local businesses to source loose play parts such as tyres, and repurposed ‘milk for schools’ wheelie bins that her and her partner converted to water stations for water play in the sandpit area. The school also began sourcing quotes for climbing and balancing equipment, and materials to build a mud kitchen and support water play activities.

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Steph says the process of consulting with tamariki and capturing their ideas, along with some thoughtful and measurable outcomes such as getting more kids active and a reduction in incidents during break times, meant the school was able to put together a compelling funding application.

“Amy and the Ngongotaha school community developed a very clear picture about what they were hoping to do, why they were doing it and how supporting play in their school would help engage more tamariki in physical activity,” says Steph.

“As a result all of us at Sport Bay of Plenty were really pleased to be able to support their endeavours, and it’s exciting to see how the kids are engaging with the new play opportunities available to them.”

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About Tū Manawa Active Aotearoa

Tū Manawa Active Aotearoa provides funding for programmes or projects delivering play, active recreation and sport experiences for tamariki and rangatahi.

Funding applications are open at various times throughout the year. Please keep an eye on the Sport Bay of Plenty website to see when a new funding round will open. Sport Bay of Plenty has developed a comprehensive application guide to walk applicants through each step of the Tū Manawa application process.

Find out more about Tū Manawa Active Aotearoa


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