On the playground
Classrooms are highly structured environments with clear rules and routines and the visible presence of a teacher. Outside this ordered environment, many of the predictable classroom conditions change. Moving through other parts of the school and transitioning from classroom to playground presents a new set of considerations for supervision, organisation and expectations of student behaviour.
Planning and preparation are key to successful activities outside the classroom.
The playground is an important learning environment for students. A well-structured and properly equipped playground can promote pro-social behaviours that are beneficial for social competence and for cognitive development.
The way spaces are organised and used can either encourage or discourage positive student behaviour and interactions. Inappropriate behaviour in the playground can be minimised by having clear and well communicated expectations and ensuring all areas are well supervised.
It is important to involve students and staff in identifying any playground issues that require attention and determining any possible improvements.
Components of effective playground supervision
For staff, being observant and responsive on the playground is essential whether you are ‘on duty’ or just passing through. It is important to consistently practise:
- active movement and visibility around the grounds
- listening to and acknowledging student concerns
- proactive intervention to avoid potential problems
- positive interactions with students
- regular acknowledgement of appropriate play
- checking for the correct use of play equipment
- encouragement for keeping a clean, safe environment
- regular reminders to students about the expectations, rules and responsibilities
- fair and consistent implementation of school policies.