Writing: Should playtimes be banned?

Monday 06 March 2023

In their writing lessons, the children have been learning techniques to help them to write persuasively. Today, we received a letter informing us that playtimes are going to be reduced and possibly stopped altogether! What an outrage!

Tomorrow, the class will put forward their argument and begin to plan a letter stating their opinions. To help with this, we created a ‘Conscience Alley.’

What does conscience alley mean?

Conscience Alley – Investigating Characters and Themes in Depth – Master of  TeachingWhole Class Guided Reading: A Week Of - Rebecca: The Irish Teacher

A conscience alley is a technique for debate and it encourages all the children to get involved and state their opinions. The class  worked in teams to develop a compelling argument in response to this letter.
“In my opinion, you should not ban playtimes because children need fresh air and exercise.”
I strongly disagree because children need to develop friendships. How can they do this if stuck in the classroom all the time!
Furthermore, teachers will never get a break!

Help at home by reading the letter below with your child. Create your own debate for and against banning playtimes.

To the staff, parents and governors

I would like your support with my proposal to reduce break time for KS2 children. Break and lunchtime at (St. James’ Primary School) make up a total of 6 hours and 40 minutes throughout the week. In my opinion, that is a significant amount of time being wasted with children simply running around and not participating in learning. My suggestion is to remove first break entirely and reduce lunchtime from 60 minutes (one hour) to 30 minutes (half an hour), which is adequate time for the children to eat, use the toilet and get some fresh air. Here I have outlined my main reasons for making this proposal.

First and foremost, a school’s purpose is for children to learn; children get to play when they are at home. Some may argue that break-time is vital for children to relax throughout the day. I, on the other hand, disagree because they are able to relax from 3.15pm (when our school day ends) until their bedtimes. Additionally, children have the weekends and school holidays to play. Increasing the amount of learning time is crucial for the children because it will increase the progress they make so it will improve the amount of opportunities available to them when they are older, allowing them to have a brighter future.

Furthermore, statistics show that break and lunch times are when the school has to deal with the most friendship problems and medical emergencies. By reducing the amount of time, the children are at break, we will reduce the chances of children falling out with each other. In addition, the increased amount of learning time will allow us to spend more time teaching Living and Learning and Circle Times, where we can equip the children with strategies to deal with friendship problems in the future.

Finally, I strongly believe that it is a waste of teacher’s time to look after children at break. Reducing the amount of break time will reduce the amount of time teachers have to spend supervising children during unstructured play, and allow them to the job they are trained to do: inspire the children with their learning.

To conclude, I consider it my responsibility to do what is best for the children (even if they may disagree), and reduce the amount of break time. In my experience, the more learning time the children have, the better progress they will make. Consequently, they will perform better in their assessments, have fewer friendship problems and be well prepared for the challenges of secondary school.