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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

Short and tweet

Graduation ceremony - admission this year is only with something to donate to our local food bank.


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P6 started buddy training today! They rose to the challenge with enthusiasm and energy. #responsiblecitizens


Great to meet with half of Iona Primary School [six pupils] today on their visit to the Scottish Parliament.

@Feorlean (MSP Michael Russell)

Pupil visiting from England: "Do you have any gifted and talented pupils here?" Me: "Yes, all of them." Parents seemed to like my answer.


P1s and the nursery have been learning about ladybirds. We made a new home for them using real tools. #transition


Our doctoral students are all preparing for their annual research conference on Saturday. Busy wee bees!


English is crazy: you say that your nose runs but your feet smell. Now try and teach that logic to your students.


Letters for publication in TESS should arrive by 10am Monday. Send your letters, ideally of no more than 250 words in length, including contact address and phone number, by email to or by post to TES Scotland, Thistle House, 21-23 Thistle Street, Edinburgh EH2 1DF. Letters may be edited

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