Back to school blues? "Let us play more and we'll learn better" say kids in new research
Thursday 3 September 2009
As summer holidays come to an end this week,
Play England is calling on schools to protect play-time and make
more time for children to play during the school day.
New research from Play England finds that time to play at school
is seen by both children and their parents as very important if
they are to get the most out of education. 90% of parents and 79%
of children agree that having time to play at school helps children
to concentrate in lessons. The report also found that 88% of
parents and 80% of children think that children are better behaved
in lessons if they are allowed to play at break time, and this
figure rises to 99% for parents of 5-6 year olds. 94% of parents
assert that it is important to allocate time for play during school
73% of children interviewed by ICM, for Play England, say that
school is the main chance they have to play with their friends. 55%
of children report that they sometimes rush their lunch at school
so they have time to play and 84% of parents say they are against
school break times being shortened.
Adrian Voce, Director of Play England, said:
'The opportunity for children to play at school is all too
easily regarded as a luxury. But children, as well as their
parents, are telling us how crucial it is. We know that playing is
an essential part of enjoying childhood and that it contributes
hugely to children's informal learning and development. Families
are now telling us that it is important in helping children to get
the most from their formal learning too'.
Play England, part of NCB, convenes the Play in Schools group
which aims to improve play provision within schools, childcare,
extended services and in children's centres. The group consists of
national and regional agencies and local authority representatives
who all have an interest in improving play provision in those
settings. Play England's recommendations for play provision in
schools are published in 'Play in schools and integrated settings:
A position statement'.
Play England has also produced a
short film that explores how high-quality play facilities in
primary schools can help to improve children's academic performance
and enjoyment of school.