Tag Archives: schools

School playtime bans: a former head speaks out

photo of Juliet RobertsonA few days ago former primary school head teacher Juliet Robertson got in touch after reading my blog post on the school that banned children from having best friends. Juliet is now a leading educational consultant; her blog I’m a teacher, get me OUTSIDE here! is for my money one of the most lively, creative outdoor learning sites on the web. She had some fascinating insights on the topic of school bans, and agreed to share them here. I’d love to hear your thoughts on what Juliet has to say – especially if you have worked in schools yourself.

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Schoolchildren banned from playing hide-and-seek – and that’s just for starters

A school in England has recently banned children from playing hide-and-seek. It has also banned children from writing notes to each other. It has also – and this truly stretches credibility – banned children from having best friends.

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Moving on from the zero risk childhood

Girl climbing a treeThe ‘cotton wool kid’ – cosseted, watched over, insulated from all possible harm – has become a potent symbol of our fear-filled, risk-averse times. Across the rich nations, children are statistically safer today than at any time in history [pdf link]. But the insidious question ‘what if…?’ crowds out common sense, and clouds our good judgement. Continue reading

Taking a balanced approach to risk in childhood: Why and how

Rosa on a tree swingWhere was your favourite place to play as a child? The chances are, it was out of doors, and out of sight of adults. A place where you felt a sense of freedom and possibility. Where you could follow your impulses and your imagination, even if that led you into situations that were scary, challenging, perhaps even downright dangerous.

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Everyday childhood freedoms? Parents, not experts, have to decide

1st day at school (parents went too)

Some time ago a father emailed me asking for advice about the freedoms he should grant to his son. I don’t know him, or his son, and don’t know anything about where he lives. Which, by the way, is Melbourne, Australia. Why he might think I would be better placed than him to decide, I have absolutely no idea – and my reply said as much. Continue reading

How do we help children understand right and wrong from the inside?

There is no more difficult job than getting children to understand the moral consequences of their actions.  And there is a growing feeling that this job is getting harder.  Not surprisingly, an army of parenting gurus, products and academics is on hand to offer help to parents and educators. Continue reading