Sacred Heart Parliament Meeting
We met with the school parliament at Sacred Heart School on 7th June.
There were 9 children in total representing all of the year groups. 4 of the children regularly go to Onchan Park, but all are familiar with the park through school trips. We discussed the issues and problems that arise from selling the park, such as distance to alternative parks (20mins walk across busy roads) and road accidents. We showed the children the map showing locations of road accidents and a detailed local map. In this area there is a low accident rate, but if there were more houses there would be more traffic and potentially more accidents. We raised the question of why the council want to sell the park to get money at the expense of the safety of our children and who will take responsibility for this. We also mentioned how important it is for all age groups to stay physically active for good health and to prevent obesity. The children had already discussed our focus group questions with their classes and they had lots of ideas for us.
Some of the ideas for equipment/sports facilities were;
Swings, slides, climbing frames, roundabout, monkey bars, built-in trampoline, climbing wall, hopscotch, race track, tennis, football, basketball, outdoor gym, skate park, cricket, netball, hockey, rounders, badminton, squash wall, zip wire, trim trail/obstacle course. At Sacred Heart there is a trim trail or obstacle course, some older children just like to sit down or play on the rails and the younger children make up games to play like dobby etc. The children travel around the trail without touching the ground.
In the pavilion, the children would like to see: clean toilets, indoor play area, snack bar/café, pool table, table football, table tennis, lockers, changing rooms and to be able to hire it out for parties. Most of the children are missing the existing toilets in the pavilion: having this facility would allow people to extend their time at the park.
In order to attract nature to the park the children suggested: a variety of plants to attract insects and butterflies, nature information boards, insect hotels, tree house, water feature/pond, bird house, bird feeder, trees, greenhouse, petting zoo, built-in magnifying glass to observe creatures or natural objects.
The children encountered a few problems on the park e.g. older children playing football on the bowling green, swings being wrapped round the top bar preventing children from using them, first aid issues and the problem of dogs running off their leads. They suggested that a warden or play supervisor would reduce some of these issues.
Most of the classes were interested in helping us to plan the space and equipment on the park. We invited the children to the Queen’s Birthday picnic.
One girl had an idea for a poster on the park that people would sign up and write comments to show their support, we could consider doing this at a future event.
It was great that the whole school got involved with responding to our questions and the children on the parliament were well prepared and had some great ideas.
Thanks so much, Sacred Heart Parliament and Mrs Iacovitti!
If your primary school children have any ideas, please let us know in the comments.