Information for Parents/Guardians and Visitors
Welcome to the Adventure Play Hub!
We are London's oldest adventure playground. It was opened in 1957 and throughout the years, the playground has been, and continues to be, managed by a committed staff team, volunteers and parents. The playground has a number of exciting structures that the kids love playing with, including the American and Nest swings, the treehouse, slide as well as an abundance of other outdoor activities. We also have indoor play facilities which houses a selection of toys, games and activities, including arts & crafts, cooking, dancing, den-building, gardening, dressing up and storytelling, board games, card games and table tennis.
Our mission is to maintain and develop an adventure playground in the City of Westminster that improves quality of life of local residents, by providing inclusive opportunities for children to be involved with play, learning and development, leading to new experiences and positive outcomes for all, regardless of their attributes or abilities.
Equal Opportunities and Play Diversity
All children and young people should be encouraged to fulfil their potential and inequalities will be challenged. Our Equal Opportunity policy is in established to counteract the discrimination that people may experience, based on their sex, age, race, colour, disability or non-disability, health status including mental health, ethnic or national origin, marital status, sexual orientation, gender and religious, cultural and political beliefs or practises. This enables everyone to have equal access to our activities and resources.
We promote positive attitudes to diversity and differences within all children which helps them to learn to value different aspects of their own, and other people’s lives. This includes making sure that all children and families feel included, safe and valued; that all children and adults are treated as individuals and are not discriminated against; and that everyone is listened to and respected.
Our staff embrace and practice the principles of equal opportunities and this leads to excellent quality playwork. The Adventure Play Hub recognises that some children have specific needs or SEN, and we are proactive in ensuring that appropriate steps are taken, when such a child is identified or admitted to the playground.
All of our staff dedicate themselves to running an exceptional play service.
Our Trustees are:
• Ann-Marie Cascarino
• Liz Maxwell
• Linda Meehan
• Ani Meehan
• Geoff Carpenter
Our Community and ASL Community Partnerships
We strive to build strong, positive relationships with all of our parents and we are very fortunate to have a network of mothers who volunteer with us. We believe that it is beneficial for everyone to have local young people, volunteering to support play and the students from The American School in London (ASL) volunteer with us twice a week and play with the children as part of their Community Partnerships scheme. They also hold an annual Community Service Day, where they do an excellent job of revitalising the playground.
A walking bus is available from Robinsfield Infant School and Barrow Hill Junior School. Our Playworkers will collect the children directly from the playground of the local schools and bring them to the playground. If parents would like their children picked up from school by the Adventure Play Hub, they need to inform the school who will put them on their register. This register should always correlate with our register.
If a parent has not informed either the Adventure Play Hub or the school, requesting their child to be collected by us, we will not be able to collect them.
Activities change on a monthly basis and you can obtain a copy of our timetable in our office or in our newsletter, which is emailed to our members and partners on a monthly basis. As we offer an inclusive play service, we are happy to adapt all of our activities to best suit those with SEN or medical needs. We endeavour to engage and enhance the learning and wellbeing of every child at the Adventure Play Hub. Our outdoor activities encourage children to strive and improve which teaches them resilience, as well as keeping them healthy and strong. Our creative activities enable them to develop their minds, artistic and domestic skills.
Every day the arts & crafts table is set up and a new, fun activity is prepared for children. We encourage the children to freely express themselves by experimenting with a variety of artistic mediums; including graphic design, drawing, painting, collage and calligraphy. We teach them how use their imagination and appreciate the simple things in life, which can better equip them when dealing with anxieties the future. Alongside the arts & crafts, we do cooking one day a week, dancing, den-building, gardening, dressing up and storytelling, board games, card games and table tennis. We also provide a relaxed, quiet space where children can go to relax or read in peace.
Homework Club and Inclusive Learning
Each child deserves to thrive in their education. Every day, we run a ‘Homework Club’ for all children, particularly those who have SEN or who need a little extra support in their learning. We work closely with our parents and the local schools to ensure the best possible support plans for those children who require extra support. To discuss your child/children’s needs, please speak to either Harriet Simmons or Magdalena Czarnecka. We are proud to have created a great learning environment for the children to thrive, aspire and achieve.
Behaviour and Anti-Bullying Policy
The Adventure Play Hub recognises the importance of positive and effective behaviour management strategies, which promote children’s welfare and enjoyment. We believe that the best way to reduce negative behaviour is to promote positive behaviour and encourage children to take responsibility for their own behaviour.
The aims of our Behaviour Policy are to help children to:
• Develop a sense of caring and respect for one another.
• Build caring and co-operative relationships with other children/young people and adults.
• Develop a range of social skills and help them learn what constitutes acceptable behaviour.
• Develop confidence, self-discipline and self-esteem in an atmosphere of mutual respect and encouragement.
Behaviour Management Strategies
The staff team will manage behaviour according to clear, consistent and positive strategies. Parents/guardians are expected to contribute towards these strategies, raising any concerns or suggestions with the Manager or Chair. We work in conjunction with Barrow Hill school to support and uphold their School Values; Trust Fairness, Respect. If these values are being ignored, then as a priority, our staff will work closely with the child/children and parents involved, to try and generate a deeper understanding of how to exercise these values and reconcile any disputes between children.
Behaviour Management will be structured around the following principles:
• The staff and children will work collaboratively to establish a clear set of ‘ground rules’ which encompass all behaviour at the playground. These will be reviewed annually so that new users have a say in how the rules of the playground operate. These can currently be found on the large display board inside the hut, and next to the main door.
• The playground’s ‘ground rules’ will apply equally to all members, staff and volunteers.
• Positive behaviour will be reinforced with praise and encouragement.
• Negative behaviour will be challenged in a calm but assertive manner. In the first instance, staff will try to re-direct child’s energies by offering them alternative and positive options, diverting them from the source of negativity. Staff will be open in stating and explaining nonnegotiable issues.
• When dealing with negative behaviour, staff will avoid shouting and communicate in a clear, calm and assertive manner.
• Staff will make every effort to set a positive example to children by behaving in a friendly and tolerant manner themselves, promoting an atmosphere where children and adults respect and value one another.
• Staff will facilitate regular and open discussions with children about their behaviour. This will help them to understand the negative aspects of their behaviour and enable them to have their say and be helped to think through the causes and effects of their actions.
• Staff will work as a team by discussing incidents and resolving to act collectively and consistently. This usually takes during staff briefings before and after each play session.
• Staff will try to discuss concerns with parents/guardians at the earliest possible opportunity in an attempt to help identify the causes of negative behaviour and share strategies for dealing with it where possible.
• Children who experience bullying, racism or other unacceptable behaviour will be given the confidence to speak out.
• Staff will encourage and facilitate mediation between children to try to resolve conflicts by discussion and negotiation.
• Activities will be varied, well planned and structured in conjunction with the users so that children and young people are not easily bored or distracted.
3 Strikes System
1. Children who don’t listen or are disrespectful towards the staff and the playground i.e. ‘ground rules’ will be given their first strike as a warning. Playworkers must clearly say to children that they have been given their first strike. The playworker giving the strike must tell other members of staff which child has been given a time out.
2. If they repeat this behaviour, they will be given a ‘time out’ which will depend on both their age and the severity of the incident. This should take place in a quiet spot indoors i.e. table away from other children, and last no longer than 15 minutes. The playworker giving the strike must tell other members of staff which child has been given a time out. Once the child has finished their timeout, they can re-enter the playground.
3. If negative behaviour continues, children will be issued their third strike and a behaviour form fill be completed by the member of staff issuing the strike. The Manager will be informed and will contact the child’s parent/s. The chairperson will also be informed.
Please note: parents must be informed that corporal punishment is never appropriate or an acceptable punishment at the playground, and must never be used. We will support parents to identify an alternative response to their child’s behaviour.
We are committed to providing a caring, friendly and safe environment for all of our children so they can play in a relaxed and secure atmosphere. Bullying of any kind is unacceptable at The Adventure Play Hub and we will always stand up to it. We believe that if bullying does occur, every child should be able to tell a member of staff, and both parents and children should be reassured that incidents will be dealt with promptly and effectively.
What is bullying?
Bullying is the repetition of unkind or aggressive behaviour, with the intent of hurting another person physically or emotionally. Bullying results in pain and distress to the victim, with sometimes lasting and damaging effects on a person's physical and mental wellbeing.
Bullying can be:
• Emotional - being unfriendly to others, excluding, tormenting (e.g. hiding books or toys, using threatening gestures, making derogatory comments)
• Physical - pushing, kicking, hitting, punching or any use of violence.
• Racial - making taunts, comments, pictures and online images, gestures or graffiti.
• Sexual - the use of unwanted physical contact or sexually abusive comments, being sexist, derogatory or discriminatory because of a person’s gender, sexuality or outward appearance.
• Homophobic - because of or focusing on the issue of a person's sexuality.
• Verbal - unkind name-calling, sarcasm, spreading rumours, teasing, racist or sexist remarks
Why is it important to respond to bullying?
Bullying hurts and no one deserves to be a victim of bullying. Everybody has the right to be treated with respect, whether they are a child or an adult. We believe that children who are bullying others need to learn different ways of behaving. The Adventure play Hub has a responsibility to respond promptly and effectively to issues of bullying and we will work closely with the child (bully and victim) and the parent/s to strategise ways to tackle this.
Parents/guardians are expected to contribute towards these strategies, raising any concerns or suggestions with the Manager.
Privacy Notice and General Data Protection
Our Privacy Notice and Date Protection Policy are both available for you to review on our website. When registering your child, you must read through both of these policies and provide consent for us to process your personal data i.e. your name, contact details. All organisations are expected to comply with the General Date Protection Policy (GDPR) 2018 by law, and this is something we take very seriously.
‘Customer Care’ is meeting or exceeding the customer’s expectation of the service provided. The term ‘customer’ is used when referring to the ‘users’ of our playground including our parents and children. All of our customers (children, parents and other stakeholders) expect to be treated courteously. We understand that our customers/users expect to be listened to and they should to be able to make a complaint when they are unhappy with our service.
It is important that parents and children feel able to talk to playworkers about all aspects of The Adventure Play Hub management and delivery. The participation of parents and children is viewed as essential to The Adventure Play Hub curriculum planning approach.
If you would like to make a complaint, please tell either a member of staff on-site or the Chair and they will provide you with a ‘Comments, Suggestions, Compliments and Complaints’ form which are available on-site. Alternatively, you can make a complaint via our website, email or phone, explicitly stating in detail the nature of the complaint, incident, members of staff involved etc.
If you need advice and support on making a complaint, please don’t hesitate to ask a member of staff who will guide you through this process.
We are open all year round for children aged 5 to 12, including School Half Terms, Easter and Summer Holidays.
Opening hours are:
• Term time - 3 - 6pm (excluding bank holidays)
• School Holidays - Monday - Friday 8:30am - 5pm