No more rostering – now students have access to playground equipment every day

Organisation: Emu Park State School Parents & Citizens Association

Project: New playground equipment for the middle years students

Amount: $65,000

Year of grant: 2014

As the result of the Trust’s grant, each student enrolled at Emu Park State School will have access to playground equipment every day of the school year. Physical play on playground equipment enables students to improve their gross motor skills as well as their social skills, strengthening social and physical development at an age appropriate level.

The original playground equipment at Emu Park State School was installed eight years ago when the enrolments were much lower and was designed for a maximum of 200 students. But in the intervening years, the school, located 45km from Rockhampton on Central Queensland’s Capricorn Coast, had undergone a period of rapid growth in enrolment numbers. By 2014, enrolments had more than doubled to 450 young students, putting tremendous strain on existing outdoor resources and resulting in a rostering system, which only gave children access to the existing outdoor playground facilities for one break per week. The need for a new playground was very necessary.

The Emu Park State School Parents and Citizens Association is a not for profit organisation run by a highly motivated team of volunteers and it made the new playground a priority project. Students from the senior levels worked with School Principal, Wayne McMurtrie to design the playground which includes the school colours. The community, parents and children came together one Saturday for a working bee to install the soft fall sand, donated by a local supplier and installation quickly commenced. The playground for students in years 2, 3 and 4 was successfully completed in late 2014 and is now a visible feature from the main street of town, enhancing the students’ environment and providing them with a fantastic outlet to expend their youthful energy.