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The Benefits of Free Play Backed by Science

<a href="/articles/the-benefits-of-free-play-backed-by-science">The Benefits of Free Play Backed by Science</a>

A study of primary school children during school break periods has found that not only is the break period a good opportunity to enhance children’s physical activity, but lunchtime activities need not be costly. Providing simple and cheap items such as buckets and tyre tubes during school break periods was found to significantly increase children’s enjoyment of, and participation in, physical activity – more so than using traditional fixed playground equipment. Read full article

Research and Evidence on School Starting Age

<a href="/articles/research-and-evidence-on-school-starting-age">Research and Evidence on School Starting Age</a>

Earlier this month the "Too Much, Too Soon" campaign made headlines with a letter calling for a change to the start age for formal learning in schools. Cambridge researcher David Whitebread, explains why children may need more time to develop before their formal education begins in earnest...There are several strands of evidence which all point towards the importance of play in young children’s development, and the value of an extended period of playful learning before the start of formal schooling. Read full article

School's Play with No Contact Policy Upsets Students and Parents

<a href="/blogs/yvettevignando/2012/06/15/schools-play-with-no-contact-policy-upsets-students-and-parents">School&#039;s Play with No Contact Policy Upsets Students and Parents</a>

A primary school principal in Victoria, Australia has told children to "play with no contact"; the Principal explained that this direction came "directly from a safety perspective". In setting the background to this rule, Principal Ms Beckworth said the school had "a broken collarbone, broken wrist and concussion" . Children were so upset with this ban that Year 6 students are reported to have protested with some kind of 'sit in' on the oval at lunch time. It is reported that the school put a stop to the protest and that the students were called into the school hall to be spoken to about that behaviour. Parents are also reported to be upset by the ban and because the school did not consult the parent community first. Read full article

Outdoor Play and Playground Conflict

<a href="/blogs/sarahpietrzak/2010/08/17/outdoor-play-and-playground-conflict">Outdoor Play and Playground Conflict</a>

Several years ago I taught an inner city school in the UK. The sports teachers refused to allow the children to play on the field at recess or lunchtime in case they messed up the field. Instead, several hundred teenagers were crowded onto 4 tennis courts and one small concreted area about the size of two basketball courts. It was like a regulated version of Lord of the Flies Read full article