Structured School Breaks or Free Time

This is a very interesting issue which comes up for debate in educational circles from time to time, but rarely with any real clarity or resolution.

The choice as described in this well-articulated article from the New York Times is between free, unstructure break times when students are essentially left to ‘do their own thing’ vs organised, structured breaktime activities where all children are expected to participate, but in a ‘fun’ way.

New York Times Article

My own personal feeling is that it is not as simple as just an ‘either-or’. I believe that there are children who struggle to achieve the levels of harmony, co-operation, creativity etc. easily on their own to fill the time. As a result, it can become a dangerous time for such children, involving themselves in risk-taking behaviours and other inappropriate or at least unproductive ways of passing the time. On the other hand, i agree that for a lot of children the break from structure is a welcome relaxation that can enable them to be more ready for learning afterwards.

i believe that choice should be there. There should be enough ‘patrolling’ so that there are adults moving about, available to the children should they require their intervention, to ensure that behaviour stays within acceptable bounds and children and property are safe. There can be some optional lightly organised activities provided for those children who want them. i believe you would find some children who opt for them regularly, some who never do and some who drift in and out according to mood and state of peer relations on that day.

The element of choice and opting in would be crucial. I have even seen a very nice pilot where a group of volunteer older students provided these activities for younger ones. This left some teachers to have their own breaks while a small number of others were around to interact informally with children who had chosen not to join in and to see that nothing untoward is happening.

i would be interested to hear others’ views on this.

Soccer League Final Weekend

Here are the results from the final matches. Photos still appear to be stuck in the pipeline, but will be posted once i receive them.

SHRI SOCCER LEAGUE 2010

6/03/2010

Class 2 & 3
Crusaders Beat Artic Wolves 5-1
Falcons Beat Western Express 2-1
Shooting Stars Draw Super stars 1-1
Mighty Worriers Beat Power Strikers 1-0
Mountain Lions Draw Flying Dragons 1-1
Gunners Beat Dare Devils 2-1
Heros Beat Golden Eagales 2-0

Class 4 & 5
Artic Wolves Beat Gunners 3-1
Heros Beat Dare Devils 6-0
Blazers V/S Mountain Lions Blazers got Walkovers
Knight Riders Beat Power Strikers 6-0
Flying Dragons Beat Shooting Stars 2-0
Western Express Beat Mighty Warriors 5-3
Super Stars Beat Crusaders 2-0
Falcons Beat Golden Eagles 2-1

Class 6 & 7
Mountain Lions Beat Gunners 12-0
Super Stars Beat Heros 9-3
Falcons Beat Artic Wolves 3-0
Dare Devils Beat Western Express 8-4
Shooting Stars Beat Crusaders 2-1
Power Strikers Beat Golden Eagles 7-6

Class 8 & 9
Dare Devils Beat Shooting Stars 4-3
Power Strikers Beat Mountain Lions 5-3

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