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The school summer holidays are now over and the children have returned to school, many of whom attended the Summer playschemes run by the Community Council.  As in previous years both schemes proved to be a great success and were enjoyed by the children who attended and all those who helped.


Both playschemes were successfully registered with the CSSIW and were held at St Cenydd Community School again this year from Monday, 23 July to Friday,

17 August 2012.


This year only four of the previous year’s assistants reapplied for places on the schemes due to new jobs/travelling etc. Six assistants were appointed, making a total of 10 - five being based at each of the playschemes. Carys Morgan was Leader for Trecenydd and Shaun Pugh the Leader for Penyrheol.  The Playworkers worked well with each other, forming a friendly rapport amongst themselves and the children which resulted in an enjoyable experience with the appropriate discipline which the majority of children respected and co-operated with.  The reward system again worked well.


On the first day an Emergency First Aid Course was run by Mr David Rose of St John’s Ambulance for the playworkers - all of whom successfully completed the course, gaining a first aid certificate in emergency first aid. The course - as usual - proved very useful in giving the playleaders and assistants the ability and confidence to deal effectively with minor accidents that arose.  Also for the second year the playworkers attended a ‘Safeguarding Children’ course and a ‘Play’ course before the playschemes started.


Registration on the Monday was carried out by the Clerk with the help of Councillors Bill Allen, Mrs Amana Nash, Peter Slarke and Steve Skivens which was greatly appreciated.  During the scheme 120children registered (Penyrheol Playscheme 60 - Trecenydd Playscheme 60). Children on the waiting list were also accommodated during the playschemes due to holidays etc.


Risk assessments (both indoor and outdoor) were carried out for every event.  Fire drills were carried out and recorded once a week.  I wish to congratulate the playleaders and assistants on the splendid effort they have made in adhering to all of the 20 CSSIW National Minimum Standards in full.


As usual a wide range of activities were offered during the course of the playschemes. These included a variety of indoor games such as the games table (which proved very popular with the older children), clay, team games, making jewellery, making aeroplanes, making handbags, using the parachute, painting with sponges, board games, various competitions, making outfits with fabric and Hamma beads which were (as always) a particular favourite!



New outdoor and sporting equipment had been purchased this year such as skateboards and scooters and a new pool table was kindly obtained by Cllr Huw Davies.  Outdoor activities included football, rugby, rounders, a joint sports day, water slide, non-stop cricket, visits to local parks, nature walks etc. The activities incorporated various types of play such as physical play, imaginative, exploratory, creative, intellectual, structured and free play. The children were encouraged to be involved, inspired and inventive. 


A new activity this year was the mobile climbing wall which was very successful and all the children had a go and enjoyed every minute of this new activity. The instructors were also brilliant with the children.


This year trips included a trip to Barry Island, the National Play Day event at Tredegar House, Nantgarw Bowlplex/Cinema/McDonalds and a trip to Caerphilly Fire Station and Pizza Hut where the children made their own pizzas.  This was a very popular trip and the children learned about healthy eating options at Pizza Hut and were given a huge welcome at the Fire Station where they could try on the very heavy uniform/apparatus etc and, of course climb up into the fire engines.  


The weather, although as usual a little unsettled fortunately did not cause too much of a problem which enabled planned activities to take place and the children were able to be outside as much as possible.


Weekly swimming trips to Newbridge Leisure Centre were as ever very popular again this year.   As the Centre limits U8’s to two per adult, as usual a rota was introduced to ensure that all the children had the opportunity to participate. This was accepted by all the children and their parents.


Children with special needs attended the scheme and had a wonderful time. Unfortunately there was an incident in the Trecenydd playscheme which had to be reported to Social Services. 


The Playworkers ran a daily tuck shop which proved as ever very popular with the children. Money raised from the tuck shops was used to help with the cost of the parties held for the children at the end of the playschemes. Playworkers held a joint party where they were all treated to lunch and treats and a bouncy castle was hired again this year as it proved so popular last year.  The children thoroughly enjoyed the parties as did the playworkers.  Both playschemes produced a DVD for each of the children to take home after permission was obtained from parents for photographs to be taken.                                                                                  


The children were, on the whole well-behaved this year with only a few minor instances which were dealt with accordingly.  There were a few knocks and bumps resulting in minor injuries during the schemes which were recorded in the Accident Book.               


The playschemes of 2012 on the whole ran very smoothly with Carys Morgan, as usual being an excellent Leader for Trecenydd and Shaun Pugh stepping quite easily into the shoes of Nicola Bradfield (Leader for the past few years).  This was very impressive as she was a very hard act to follow.  Also all the playworkers took to their roles like ducks to water.  Plenty of activities were provided to occupy the children and develop their social skills, physical and creative abilities. Many children (and parents) were sorry that the schemes had to end and are looking forward to next year when, hopefully they can return.


I would like to thank the playworkers and also the staff at St Cenydd Community School, especially Mr Steve Barrow, Business Manager and Mr Len Cook, the Caretaker for their assistance throughout the playscheme. 


We now look forward to next year’s playschemes.  Details will be placed on the website and in our bi-annual Newsletter and leaflets will, as usual be given to the primary schools within the Wards.





Helen Treherne

Clerk to the Council                        September 2012

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