‘Well-played recess’ gets a boost with new playground games to foster inclusion
Just in time for September, the Branksome Hall Junior School will launch four new playground games, providing opportunities for collaborative, outdoor play that also support physical distancing guidelines.
“These games will enhance inclusive practices during recess times, allowing students to learn agency and relational skills, while having fun and choosing how and with whom they play,” says Erika Lo, Assistant Head, Junior School & PYP Coordinator.
This initiative also supports the landmark action research Junior School Social Worker Carolyn Mak is conducting, about empowering girls to choose with whom they play in a practised, constructive way that is nevertheless honest and authentic.
“The project's objective was to ensure students have different offerings of games, which they can run by themselves or with adult assistance, to add to their options of how to have a well-played recess,” says Mak.
The pilot proposal for the project emerged last summer, and over the 2019-20 school year, a group of 10 Junior School faculty led by Mak, met to review and discuss playground recess practices.
Mak worked collaboratively with classroom teachers to develop recommendations and practices to encourage and promote positive behaviours and conversations about well-played recesses. Now, the resources to support that objective include these four newly installed games. Junior school students were encouraged to vote for their favourites and they are Four Square, Snakes and Ladders, Circuit and Twister.
Based on use and popularity over the fall, more may be installed at a later date. “Let the games begin!” says Lo.