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Who Still Stops For Playtime?


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Hi

I have taught in FS for the last 3 years and we have always stopped CI for a morning and afternoon playtime. I have always felt it very confusing for the children....

"Ok, stop playing now.....you can't play with the things you were playing with before, we are playing with the bikes and cars now" As if one play have more value than the other.

Now I am in a position where I can have complete free flow, all day, only stopping for lunch. We will release the staff 2 at a time for a coffee break. Children can carry on CI with facilitating adult and another adult can carry on focus groups without that stop start issue.

However, I have never tried this. Does anyone else do it this way? Any words of wisdom or things to avoid?

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Sounds like a great plan from the childrens perspective, after all it's all play to them. Do you have free flow to the outside during your CI? If you do you are giving them the opportunity to be outside as opposed to 'forcing' them to go out. You sound like a very reflective teacher with a supportive school behind you, nice to hear you are given some freedom to explore

 

Would your staff be willing to give up their coffee breaks for a short period whilst it's embedded?

Could you trial it and see what impact it has - on the staff as well as the children? Another thread discussed coffee breaks and after a while I'm sure I recall some staff thinking it was better without them!

(never understood that part of the school day, it's only a couple of hours until lunch and for a period the children have less supervision...no offence intended to anyone just I'm not a hot cup of tea person I suppose)

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We do have free flow in and out all day. Also my staff would be more than willing to give up coffee breaks to to embed this. Probably wouldn't bother them if they didn't have a break but they will defo want a coffee!

Do you think it's a problem that some children may not go outside at all if it is left up to them?

They will get a Forest School session once a week, all morning. They will also take part in any adult led outside. Just worry that some won't spend any time outside by doing it this way.

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We don't have playtimes and do have 'free-flow' inside and out for most of the day and it works brilliantly.

I don't worry about those who choose to stay indoors for learning times as they have to go outside during our long (1hr20min) lunch time.

We do, however, stick with the tradition of everyone stopping for a snack at the same time, just for 20 mins, which gives staff chance for a breather too.

Mary

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My little boy started school yesterday. He's been used to freeflow with me at pre-school. He said to me 'we played on there (playground) but we didn't have any toys'. Oh how I wish he could freeflow to the outside area which his school does have, but they can't freely access. :o and they still have to go to assembly, but they aren't starting that until he goes full time in a couple of weeks.

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There is nothing worse for a child than having to tidy away for play time when they are in the middle of something. After all all EY work for a child is play.

Free flow will ensure that all children manage to access outdoors particularly if activities are exciting. Children who may not otherwise want to be outdoors with venture out. Also put some of the activities that the regular 'insiders' play with frequently outside for a change.

Free flow and not stopping for playtime I feel really is the way forward.

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Did you know that there is no legal duty in pay and conditions to let staff have a coffee break?

 

Hard I know but we are there for the children and those in pre schools and nursery classes have never had a 'playtime'

 

At my last school we got rid of playtime a long time agao and found the days ran much smoother you will be amazed!

 

Lorna

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We still have outside playtimes because our facilities don't provide for free-flow, as well as our building be used for Primary and Secondary as well during the same hours... so we have to share the small playground area. Thankfully, this one has been remodeled during the summer and we have some climbing/slide (looks like a pirate boat) equipment as well as a little 'house' than can be used for role-play like the shop and so. It is not covered and that is not possible in our case, so it is a disadvantage when it rains. Then we have to stay inside as "wet-playtime".

 

I think the free-flow idea is good and that play sometimes needs not to be interrupted, but when you are alone with a group and you also have to give some adult-led activities like phonics, circle time, go out for an outside activity at the other's school garden where they can search for minibeasts or pretend to be in the rainforest, have Gym, eat snack or lunch... well, they do have to learn to stop their play. Don't they have to do so at home?

 

Also, some children just play with the same things and always try to run to those things (especially boys with construction toys), so it causes a problem when their is not enough space and then other children are not able to use it because the first ones want to keep expanding their play.

 

I must say that if the children have started to create something in the morning and I have to do an adult-let activity, then they can leave what they were doing at a side and continue it later. So, I think there are advantages and disadvantages in everything.

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How I agree with you all - the children should not be stopped playing in order to "Go out and play".

 

However, it is not that easy - I teach at a small school and the staff in KS1 and KS2 take turns covering the playtimes. With only 4 teachers, I will feel bad if I do not take my turn. For the first few weeks I have refused to take my children out for the "Playtime" and I have loved having the freedom to let them carry on with their activities if they want - I can judge when and if to stop them and the timing can be slightly different every day, though we work to a set routine. All the children can free flow in and outside and most of my small group activities can be outside too. The morning justs runs so smoothly and camly, no hurrying to finish/begin etc.

 

But now my HT KEEPs asking when we are coming out to play!, saying my TA is not happy about having no playtime (I think, she is not happy about no break - though she does have one during snack time, it is sometimes not when other staff are at their break) . A lot of the children in the class do have siblings and are keen to see them at playtime too, though I would argue that they need to have time away from their little bro's and sis's to play freely with their friends. When they are all at lunch they will also have half an hour to be in the playground. Also, especially in the winter, playtime can be a miserable time with nothing to actually play with, at least not every day. And of course, I feel I need to support my colleagues and take my turn covering playtime.

Sorry this is rather a ramble, what do you think?

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My children love to go outside and play because then they can use the bikes, the "pirate ship", the outside wooden house/shop (the inside one is changed from month to month in the role-play area), race around, create their own very active games that require a lot of space (more than our small classroom), play soccer or basketball, be with their younger siblings when they want to or not do so as well. There was a winter when we had a sledge, but it belonged to another teacher who isn't with us anymore (she went back to her country). We also have a big sandpit/sandbox and it is used when we have the chance of nice warm sunny weather. So, going from inside play to outside play doesn't make a difference for them because they keep playing :o

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How I agree with you all - the children should not be stopped playing in order to "Go out and play".

 

. And of course, I feel I need to support my colleagues and take my turn covering playtime.

Sorry this is rather a ramble, what do you think?

 

 

Depending upon how often you would need to do playground duty to help cover for your colleagues, could that be a day when your class' routine changes and they do go out for playtime? the other days you could allow your children to free flow how you wish them to.

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I often question whether I should still be going out to play, but as the only EY class in our primary school its hard to sometimes be different or to share ideas. I too have to take my turn of playground duty and my LSA would definitely want a break. Sometimes when other activities have run over, in the past, I have asked them if they want to stay in or go outside and majority of them have chosen to go out in the big playground. We are confined in our small outdoor EYFS area which has a small patch of grass and a tiny climbling frame. But they have lots of games in the "big playground" and they love to see their siblings. They really enjoy it outside and although they are stoppin play inside, to go outside, sometimes it is ready for a change of activities anyway and it gives a nice breaking point to the day. Obv if they have something that should be carried on after play, it can all be left out.

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I am so jealous. I would love to not have playtimes and assemblies - but we went in to assembly from day one. (its 30 mins long, and now other staff our complaining that my 4yrs olds can't sit still or sit quietly!!!)

I too think saying - stop now, and tidy up for playtime is just mad - and yet I do it every day - they even tidy up the outdoor toys, which they can play with during playtime. But this is the way my new head would like it, and I don't want to challenge it - especially as she has just come from teaching rec/yr1.

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