Unfortunately, recess can also be the most troubling time of day for a lot of our students. It's often when kids can be the most hurtful to each other, when kids can feel the most lonely and left out, and when students can play in a way that is harmful to themselves or others.
At Orchard we want to make recess fun and inclusive for everyone. So, we've contracted with Playworks (playworks.org) to provide professional development for all of our Recess Staff and teachers. Playworks vision is to "create a place for every kid on the playground, a place where every kid belongs, has fun and is part of the game."
Our Recess Coaches (that's what we'll call the adults working with students during recess) will actively play with and lead activities during recess. Our emphasis will be on safe, inclusive games. There will also be a place for developmentally appropriate competition.
Inclusiveness means: sharing school equipment, not bringing equipment from home. We ask that students please not bring balls and other equipment from home to use during recess. We will have plenty of equipment. We find that when students bring their own balls, it is more difficult to be inclusive of everyone who wants to play.
During the first few weeks of school, your children may come home telling you that they didn't get to play much during recess. We will have to do some explanation of how things are going to work. Please reassure them that soon, we'll have many fun activities going on.
We hope that soon, recess will be one of the best part of the day for EVERYONE!
|Orchard Teachers and Coaches playing foursquare during Playworks training.|