New Zealand school bans playground rules and sees less bullying and vandalism
Teachers say children at Swanson Primary School were better behaved when typical playground rules were banished
A New Zealand school principal who stopped enforcing rules on a primary school playground said he has seen an immediate decrease in bullying, vandalism and injuries.
The ban on traditional health and safety-based playground rules allows children at Swanson Primary School in Auckland to “climb trees, ride skateboards and play games such as bullrush during playtime.”
Children are also allowed to play in a "loose parts pit" containing junk pieces such as wood, old tyres and an old fire hose.
Principal Bruce McLachlan did away with the standard playtime rules as part of a university study conducted by Auckland University of Technology and Otago University looking at ways to encourage active play among children.
The study, which ended last year, found pupils were so occupied with the activities that the school did not need its timeout area anymore, or as many teachers patrolling the playground, according to TVNZ.
Teachers also reported higher concentration levels from their students in the classroom.
Mr McLachlan said: "The kids were motivated, busy and engaged. In my experience, the time children get into trouble is when they are not busy, motivated and engaged. It's during that time they bully other kids, graffiti or wreck things around the school."
"When you look at our playground it looks chaotic. From an adult's perspective, it looks like kids might get hurt, but they don't."
"We want kids to be safe and to look after them, but we end up wrapping them in cotton wool when in fact they should be able to fall over."
AUT professor of public health Grant Schofield, who worked on the team leading the study, said children develop their brain's frontal lobe when they are taking risks, which allows them to calculate consequences.
"You can't teach them that", Mr Schofield said. "They have to learn risk on their own terms. It doesn't develop by watching TV, they have to get out there."
Four schools in Auckland were involved in the experiment and all reported similar findings. The results have been so successful, Swanson Primary has opted to make the changes implemented during the experiment permanent.
- 1 Boston Marathon runner's search for mystery man she kissed ends with letter from his wife
- 3 Frankie Boyle on Scottish independence: 'In the Interests of Unity, F**k Off'
- 4 How to gain confidence and maximise your sexual potential
- 5 Chinese theme park sets up 'death simulator' where volunteers can experience being cremated
Saudi Arabia's King Salman sacks senior aide for 'slapping' a journalist behind him live on TV
Boston Marathon runner's search for mystery man she kissed ends with letter from his wife
Frankie Boyle on Scottish independence: 'In the Interests of Unity, F**k Off'
Italian police 'reveal' what Jesus looked like as a young boy
Florida couple forced to register as sex offenders for having sex on public beach
In defence of liberal democracy
General Election 2015: Post-election 'shambles' looms as 70 per cent of voters say SNP 'should not be able to veto UK government policies'
The Rothschild Libel: Why has it taken 200 years for an anti-Semitic slur that emerged from the Battle of Waterloo to be dismissed?
General Election 2015: UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power, Labour warns
General election live: SNP suspends two members for disrupting Labour rally
Schools forced to act as 'miniature welfare states' with teachers buying underwear and even haircuts for poor pupils
£35000 - £50000 per annum + generous bonus: Ashdown Group: Business Analytics ...
£45000 - £50000 per annum: Ashdown Group: IT Project Coordinator (Software Dev...
£60000 - £70000 per annum + benefits : Ashdown Group: A highly successful, glo...
£25000 - £30000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: A global leader operating...