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The project

Childhood and adolescence are pivotal periods:

  • They lay the foundations for the health and well-being of the rest of the life cycle (World Health Organization, 2003).
  • It is a key stage as citizens of a global world that faces challenges and opportunities different from those of past generations.


Participation in meaningful activities, according to development and contexts, beyond the situations experienced (functional, cultural, economic diversity, etc.), is fundamental to reach the maximum potential as individuals but also as a community and citizenship, with challenges and local opportunities.


The school is a fundamental space for these activities: personally and collectively, in classrooms, playgrounds, and other spaces of coexistence.

Occupational therapy seeks to "enable people to participate in the activities of daily living (...) [by] improving their ability to participate in the occupations they want, need or are expected to do, or [by] modifying the occupation or environment to support their occupational participation" (World Federation of Occupational Therapists, 2012).

This has a positive impact on health (physical, mental and social well-being), as well as on the occupational and human rights.

Why transform school playgrounds?

  • Need expressed by the community: teachers, families, etc.

  • Opportunity for learning, health promotion and social transformation.



What inspires us?


  • The City of Children, Francesco Tonucci,

  • Child Friendly Cities Initiative, United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF),

  • Creating Safe and Welcoming Schools for all Children and Families,

  • Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), United Nations,




Bosquejo Flecha hacia abajo



    All together, with the children at the core of the project


Using participatory community development methodologies


Adaptation of the Photovoice methodology – see here or here for examples – which has been used in a school in Pontevedra – see experience here – and in other places – see here.

This participatory project consists of the whole educational community (children, families, teachers and administrative and service staff) rethinking the playgrounds of our school.

  • The 1st part of the project consisted of planning and inviting participation and took place during the 2017-18 academic year.


  • The 2nd part of the project took place in the first term of the 2018-19 academic year. Through Photovoice, using photography, students, teachers, non-teaching staff and families reflected on what we like and dislike about the playgrounds, and how to improve them.


  • In the 3rd part, in which we are currently in, we are gathering all the data to be able to present it to the educational community and make decisions among all of us regarding the priorities for action. Soon we will post on the school website the link to the project website, where you will be able to see some of the work that has already been done and find out about updates, participate, etc.


  • The changes will take place in a 4th stage and will be the result not only of the money that could be raised for this purpose, but above all of the skills, time and ideas that the whole educational community can contribute.

Research study:


"Playground activities: Photovoice for the collective transformation of spaces for children"

The study is carried out as part of the project "Transforming playgrounds" of CEIP Isidro Parga Pondal, included in this website.

The research team is responsible for carrying out this project as part of their work as researchers at the University of A Coruña.

The aim of the study is to describe participation in activities during playtime in the playground, as well as the elements that facilitate and hinder participation in them from the perspective of the groups involved (children, teachers, families, administration and services staff). At the same time, the aim is to describe the priorities and ideas for transforming the playground from the perspective of the groups involved.

This study aims, firstly, to make visible the elements that encourage and hinder participation in meaningful activities. Then, from this joint diagnosis, to build with the educational community the ideas and alternatives for its transformation and thus promote participation in meaningful, healthy and inclusive activities.

Therefore, the aim is to generate specific knowledge that contributes to changing and improving the playground at CEIP Isidro Parga Pondal, but also to generate knowledge that is transferable to other contexts, that contributes to the reflection and transformation of other playgrounds, the promotion of health and the inclusion of children in different contexts and to inform professionals in the educational, social and health fields.

The data used are those generated through the participatory process underway, presented on this website and authorised by CEIP Isidro Parga Pondal throughout the 2017/2018 and 2018/2019 academic years. All these data are anonymised, meaning it is impossible for both the research team and any other person to identify who generated the data (for example: whose photo or comment is whose, the answers to the questions on the web platform, etc.). This anonymity will be preserved throughout the study, so that participants cannot be identified at any stage.

If for any reason you do not wish your children or yourself to participate in the study included in this project, please contact before 13th May 2019.


If you do not contact us within this period, it is understood that you agree to participate in this study, as well as potential secondary uses (using the data for future related research).

Participation is risk-free for participants. The direct benefits of participation are those related to being part of a collective transformation process (learning for the parties involved, potential empowerment), the playground transformation actions that are carried out as a result of this process, and general benefits for other people living in similar situations.

This participatory process, as well as the related research, will be used in dissemination (presentation at conferences, scientific publications, etc.) and teaching activities (use for university teaching, specific training for staff in the field of education, social or socio-health, etc.).


For further information on this research, please contact Natalia Rivas Quarneti:


Thank you very much for your collaboration.

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