The aim of the new play space was to be a provocation for creative play for highly energetic boys and ‘away’ spaces for boys who like to watch, build, talk and contemplate. It started with a walk and a talk. We introduced one class at a time to the ELC playground and then we talked about what we could do and how it would make our bodies move to make it fun. Where could we go? How many could fit? What was the first thing to try? There were more ideas from the boys about where to go and play than we could have designed.
When teachers thought about the play, they were very keen to understand the rules to implement that were protective and cautious. The decision was made with the boys that there were no rules but simply judging, is it safe. If it was not safe, then they had to change the play or the plan. Teachers were asking as they watched and engaged, “Was this a safe plan, or did we need something different?” We found the boys started making their own shared agreements and responded quickly with variations to play.
We then met in classes and year levels, sharing our thoughts. Lots of ideas were discussed but the most common response we heard was acting like a fine Scots boy. For example, we need to share, take turns, be careful, have a go, be brave, take our time and make a plan. The rules became a reflection of what it is like to be a fine Scots boy.
Our aim in everything we do at Scots is to embed our character focus for the boys. Building awareness, good judgment, assessing risk and building courage and creativity have all happened in the playground in fun, personalised lessons. Our investigation of rules continues, wrapped in delight and play.