The expert view
Different families have different expectations and levels of tolerance when it comes to their child's behaviour. For some families, "rough play" is an acceptable form of interaction for their child. In school, this form of play can cause concern.
Teachers and the school council should contribute to guidance on appropriate and inappropriate behaviour in the playground with written definitions and examples.
To achieve good playground behaviour:
- Make sure pupils understand the rules;
- Ensure playground monitors are consistent and fair when enforcing behavioural expectations;
- Praise pupils when they behave appropriately;
- Ensure teachers reinforce good playground behaviour in the classroom, normally through the use of praise.
Play provides opportunities for children to learn through imitation, imagination and fun. It can also help them to understand the consequences of their actions. Engaging children in acceptable levels of play can be achieved by:
- Teaching new and exciting games to play on the playground and, if wet, inside the classroom. A teacher or teaching assistant can co-ordinate these games every playtime, encouraging all the children to participate. Games that allow children to burn off excess energy will benefit them more.
- Implementing emotional literacy sessions where acceptable and unacceptable behaviour can be discussed with children in more detail. These sessions can include discussions, role-play, written activities, stories and games.
Nicola S Morgan is a behaviour management consultant and co-founder of www.behaviourstop.co.uk. For more advice, go to www.tes.co.ukbehaviourforum
- Involve pupils in drawing up a list of inappropriate behaviours.
- Apply rules fairly and consistently.
- Use praise to reinforce good behaviour.
- Assume that an instruction of "play nice" will suffice. Be specific with what you do not want to see.