Best Practice

Covid recovery: Promoting playground play and social skills

There are anecdotal reports that some pupils are finding unstructured playground play and socialisation difficult after two years of living with Covid. Jenny Mosley looks at what primary schools might do about this

“Those who play, rarely become brittle in the face of stress or lose the healing capacity for humour.”
Dr Stuart Brown, founder, National Institute for Play

The abundance of research – past and current – is unequivocal. Play is crucial to children’s wellbeing, resilience, and ability to learn. Indeed, the National Literacy Trust (NLT, 2017) states that play lays the foundations for literacy, communication, and spontaneity.

There is an outcry from many primary schools that the pandemic has created huge problems regarding unstructured play in the playground. Common worries I have come across include:

The list is endless. But be reassured, while we seem to have a spike in these issues post-lockdown – this is not new!

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