Every day the playground is becoming more and more important.

The introduction of the government’s Childhood Obesity Challenge last year required that all children should have an extra 30 minutes a day of activity in addition to the PE lessons already mandatory through the national curriculum.

This came about after a report was published by the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health which revealed that 40 percent of children in the country’s most deprived areas were diagnosed as overweight or obese in 2016.  Even in more affluent areas 27 percent were considered overweight or obese.

What’s more, the reports associated with this initiative showed quite remarkably that rather than reducing the academic performance of pupils, diverting 30 minutes a day away from classroom learning into a greater level of activity not only improved the children’s physical well-being, but also improved their academic performance.

One straightforward way to encourage activity and enhance positive play in the school grounds and simultaneously encourage children to meet the 30 minutes a day activity schedule is by teaching the children one game a week which they can then work on together.

Some games will catch on and become continuing favourites. Others by the nature of things will fade after a few days.  But if the games that catch on are then passed on to parents, perhaps by being put on the school’s website, the impact of the game can be extended further and further.

What’s more because the game is initiated by the school, its uptake in the playground can be tracked very easily, as the government’s new “30 minute a day” programme requires.

PSHE in the Playground is a downloadable book which both looks at enhancing activity and enhancing positive play behaviour.  It can be copied and circulated among your colleagues, and indeed parents if you so wish.

The book incorporates enough games to last a full school year and includes games that are suitable for both key stage 1 and key stage 2 children.  Most games can be taught to children in a matter of minutes.

Publisher’s reference: T1691
ISBN: 978 1 86083 726 5

The book costs £14.95 and can be purchased: