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5th June 2015 at 01:00

Purposeful play is the key to good behaviour

As Nancy Gedge states in her article "Stop playing around with our breaktimes" (Professional, 29 May), not all children like going out to "play". Reading this reminded me of the poem Complaint from Please Mrs Butler by Allan Ahlberg.

One reason given for recess times being shortened - or, indeed, done away with altogether - is behaviour issues. It is not surprising that children and young people find it difficult to behave when they are thrown out on to a small area of tarmac, in large groups, with very little to do for half an hour or more.

Fortunately, some schools take this time more seriously and provide stimulating, well-resourced activities, planned in a variety of areas both inside and outside the building. In these schools, children and young people are respected and trusted to occupy themselves purposefully. Just ignoring these times is not enough: after all, "all work and no play."

Frederick Sandall

Retired headteacher

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