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Make more of play and sport

THE loss of sports tournaments (TES, July 14) is compounded by a growing trend of primary schools to dispense with afternoon playtimes, in order to increase curriculum time.

Spread over the year, this is a considerable loss which will certainly decrease pupils' quality of life, now and in the future. Schools should be encouraged to recognise the value of play, and its contribution to a balanced and broadly- based curriculum, as wll as to use and develop the educational potential of their school grounds. Let's make more use of the outdoor classroom, not less.

Perhaps some Department for Education and EmploymentQualifications and Curriculum Authority guidance is needed before all work and no playtime makes Jack and Jill dull children?

Nick Jones

Education officer

Council for Environmental Education

94 London Street, Reading

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