News: New Zealand Primary School ditches Playground Rules

New Zealand website Stuff (click here to read original story) reports that a Primary School which has ditched playground rules, with surprisingly positive reactions from pupils and their parents.

SwansonSchoolPlaygroundArticleEven though one child from the Swanson School, Auckland school broke his arm, the only concern from the parent was that this was not going to change the ‘no-rule’ regime the school had kept in place for the previous few months. Swanson School Principal Bruce McLachlan explains that it is all about children experimenting and learning to manage risk…

If you get the chance to test yourself on a scooter when you’re seven years old, then you’ll learn to test yourself and manage the risk. You won’t need to do it the first time when you’re 17 and behind the wheel of a car. Kids who manage risk gradually, learn how to manage risk.Nobody want to hurt themselves – so when they hurt themselves a little bit, they look not to do that again, so they don’t hurt themselves a lot.The principal is keen on learning through play, and the key skills that develop this way.

[pullquote]Children need to do the whole play thing. Children today don’t do that enough.[/pullquote]Speaking to Stuff, teacher Gail Thomson declares, “It was totally something different. It’s been great. The children love it, and you have to go with ‘fun’. They need to do the whole play thing. Children today don’t do that enough.”

As there are no rules, children are allowed to climb trees, ride scooters, play bare-footed – anything goes. Click the video below to view the article on the Stuff website.


News and Images Sources: – National Post – Swanson School.

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