There’s play equipment and then there’s Undershaw play equipment – and we do things a little differently. All children need free play. Our students need free play too but they also need opportunities to regulate their emotions and reintegrate with their sensory environment.
Our campus has been a hive of activity over the summer break with a host of fundraising projects coming to fruition. 2023 saw a wonderful charity partnership for Undershaw as we were named as one of two Charity Partners of the Little Lumpy Cycling Sportive, which takes place in May and is now in its 15th year. This year’s event boasted over 400 riders taking part. Undershaw’s share of the charity donations was a wonderful £4,534 which purchased the outdoor play equipment as part of our wider Outdoor Regulation Project, which has now been completed.
Break times in the teaching timetable are vital for nurturing the social aspects of our school community. Friendships are formed and strengthened, peer groups established, and informal student mentor relationships developed. These societal networking opportunities, in whatever form they come, are all rich experiences that stand our students in good stead for their independent lives beyond Undershaw. Play apparatus, particularly that which encourages gross motor skill development, is a necessity in our environment where sensory regulation is a daily challenge for the majority of our students. This equipment is vital as they strive to place themselves in the very best mental and emotional frame of mind for learning.
Before the summer break we celebrated the alliance with Little Lumpy as Ken Griffiths, Chairman, along with representatives of the Little Lumpy committee, presented Emma West, Headteacher, with the generous donation.
”This has been a wonderful partnership for Undershaw. It has sparked our students’ passion for community involvement and a love of sporting endeavours in the outdoors, especially in the wonderful surroundings we are lucky enough to have on our doorstep. Little Lumpy has provided vital funds that has contributed to our Outdoor Sensory Regulation Project which will act as an outlet for our students, both in developing their gross motor skills, and in the precious time spent informally with peers during less structured social time. We make use of every corner of our campus, and this project will ensure it can be enjoyed for many years to come.Emma WestHeadteacher
The event itself was a highlight of our summer term as #teamundershaw took to one of the three routes available (40 miles, 60 miles or 100 miles) to fly the flag for our school and shine a light on the need for this equipment. Many others from the staff team took up posts at the feeding stations along the routes to support all the riders. It was wonderful to meet the cyclists whose registration fees made this project possible.
”We have been delighted with our endeavours on behalf of Undershaw this year. The Sportive is always a wonderful event for the cycling community but we were particularly thrilled that Undershaw entered a team of riders consisting of staff, parents, and friends of the school. The whole school community also supported the event prior to and on the day itself. It means a lot to the Little Lumpy riders, who come from the locality and further afield, that their registration fees contribute to good causes, and we are proud that this donation will play a significant part in such an impactful project at Undershaw. I know it will make a big difference to the students.Ken GriffithsChairman, Little Lumpy Sportive