Playing in School

Monday December 9, 2019

The time, space and permission children have for play, as well as the quality of play is significantly improved when schools get it right.

No more barren tarmac spaces, no more unnecessary regulations and constraints. Instead, well-considered, policy and practice supports children’s self-directed play. When accompanied by a rich range of resources this combination make for real quality play. Taken together these make a real difference to the lives of children and to the school community as a whole.

So, let’s start here, Bruce, a Head teacher from New Zealand has been thoughtfully reducing the restrictions on childrens play in School for some time. Here, he presents his reasons for and observations on the effects of what is, but shouldn’t be a fairly radical approach. Thanks to SBS Dateline for this video.

Scrapstore Playpods was one of the early approaches to bring together ideas from play and playwork combine them together in a shipping container and support package and to move in to schools across Bristol.

You can find out more about their work here:

Another organisation taking a similar approach is The Isle of play. Working across the Isle of Man improving school play times through environmental modification, of self built and often temporary play structures in combination with loose parts, mentoring and ongoing support. Check out some of their work below or pop on to their website and take a look at the full range of the work they are doing.

Recently published this position paper by the Division of Child and Education Psychology, part of the British Psychological Association make the case for play. It is an important advocacy tool for those supporting schools to be more proactive and less restrictive in the provision of opportunities for childrens play.

Download the position statement here.

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Ludicology support those interested in play and playfulness to develop evidence based play centred policies and practices through our advice, research and training services. Use this form to get in touch and to let us know what kind of support you require.