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No Playtimes


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Hi all

i am in a reception class and we currentlystop for playtime and go out with the rest of key stage 1. Children have access to outdoor play all day and so we are thinking of scrapping playtimes with the rest of the school. Does anyone else do this and if so how does it work for you?

 

Many thanks

Lola

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We go out for a morning play by ourselves - the children love having the big playground all to themselves. We take a playtime box with us - masks, costumes, balls, bubbles etc, and it just gives the children a differnt play environment. We have lunchtime play with the whole school, which can be very frustrating as the older children like to walk around holding my lots' hands like they're dolls! Then in the afternoon we have a FS/KS1 playtime whic is lovely. It can be a disruption to the day - but we're very flexible and we go out in the morning when we please. It works well for us!

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I don't see the need for playtimes in reception with free flow access to the outdoors. I scraped afternoon play this year (to some opposition to other staff members feeling I was excluding reception from the whole school community) so I settled on still going out for morning play.

 

I do see there are some benefits for morning play, it ensures that all children do access the outdoors everyday, as you do get the occasional child who doesn't like to go outside and it allows me to group the children when we come back in to remind them of learning opportunities etc. I don't make the children tidy up for playtime, we just leave things where they are and many chuldren do go back to playing before.

 

But I think if I had the choice, I would scrap morning play. Adults would have to neither give up their breaks or negoiate suitable times.

 

KST

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I can see that there are some benefits of playtime like contact with siblings and play with children of different ages.

 

Although hey would still get to do this at lunchtime, if this contact with others is valuable for some children could you allow them to choose?

 

Could those children who would like to continue stay within your area to do so but those who would like to join the rest of the school go out for whole school play?

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We still have morning playtime with the rest of the school. We are a small school so not the same as 3 form intake (for example), but it does allow the children to play with their siblings and friends further up the school. The older children play really well with the younger ones and it adds to our 'family' feel, and gives the children different play experiences. It also gives the children the chance to get to know the other adults in school.

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Marion do you stop children throughout the day to get them together for any kind of focus input?

 

lola I do my focus input when the children arrive on a morning and when they return from lunch so they haven't started an activity at that point.

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I am in Reception and we go out to play on Monday AM (my duty), Wednesday PM (Nursery teacher duty) and Friday AM and PM (my duty). It actually works really well for us as the children in Nursery are used to 1 'big' playtime a week (either AM or PM) and increasing it by this amount means we get longer uninterupted sessions 3 mornings and 3 afternoons a week but also gives the children the chance to mix with the older children other than just lunchtimes.

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I've worked in a school before where the reception children didn't go out for break until the summer term, this was to get them used to actually having the break times and get them ready for the more structured day in year one. Of course some people will probably throw up their hands in horror and declare that children shouldn't notice the difference between reception and year one and that the transition should be made so that they don't notice the difference, but personally I think you have to be practical about these things. Even if reception teachers can be excluded from the breaktime supervision duties in the playground, year one staff inevitably cant, particularly in small schools; plus at some point in their school life the children have to get used to stopping and all getting their coats on at the same time and going outside. Since there will inevitably be differences between reception and year one (even with the best transitions in the world it's still a different teacher and perhaps a classroom outside the cosy foundation unit) I think that it's best they get used to the break times at the end of reception year, rather than this being just one more big change on moving up to year one.

 

I've rather gone off from the original questions there. Sorry!

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