Playground games are alive and well

Year 3 pupils Olivia Eva (left) and Freya Miles-Hockey on the climbing frame
Year 3 pupils Olivia Eva (left) and Freya Miles-Hockey on the climbing frame
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A SCHOOL in Blackpool has come out in support of traditional playground games after many of them were banned.

According to a survey conducted by the Association of Teachers and Lecturers, schools throughout the country have stopped British Bulldog and conkers, which have been played by children for decades.

However, St John’s Vianney Primary School in Marton says many of the games help children in the classroom, although they do not allow British Bulldog because it is too rough for many of the smaller children.

Elizabeth Boniface, deputy headteacher at St John’s Vianney, said: “The little ones trying to play around the edge can get knocked over and it’s too rough for the size of our playground.

“Traditional playground games are very important for development, co-ordination and handwriting.

“Throwing balls and catching all develops motor skills and is all very important for control.”

The survey of 650 teachers found more than one in four schools across the country have banned British Bulldog and 14 per cent of schools had banned conkers.

But pupils have spoken about how much enjoyment they get from their games at school.

Olivia Eva and Freya Miles-Hockey, both eight, spoke to The Gazette about how much they enjoy the games.

Olivia said: “I like them because with skipping ropes you can do a lot with them and play together.

“I would feel a bit sad if they were banned because I enjoy it and find them a lot of fun.”

Classmate Freya added: “Skipping is really fun but it can be dangerous so you have got to be careful and hold them away from people.

“All the games help me in P.E”

Health and safety has also had an impact on school games and especially school trips, with many teachers being put off by the amount of paperwork.

Mrs Boniface added: “Children have accidents and quite often it’s perceived as somebodies fault and somebody has to pay for it.

“Anything that is a risk to a child’s well-being they are not exposed to it. Anything such as climbing will always be a risk but it will be an assessed risk.”

Although the rules have been tightened around health and safety, Mrs Boniface does not feel restricted by them.

She added: “You are a bit more cautious but you have got to be sensible about it and aware of what could happen.”