Playfighting in the playground, what's the rule at your school?

(36 Posts)
Nottigermum Fri 05-Oct-12 14:03:21

Just asking, really, there's a lot of playfighting in the playground at DSs' school and a friend of mine and a friend of mine just told me that at their school, they have a very clear, very well communicated and managed 'absolutely no playfighting' policy and playfighting is managed like other behaviour issues. The school has an anti-bullying and behaviour policy, but no specific playground policy. I just re-read it and there is no mention of playfighting and no specific rules about the playground. There are rules such as 'Be kind to one another' but nothing specific to playfighting. How is it at your school? Thanks!

DeWe Fri 05-Oct-12 14:12:14

Infants it is allowed. Personally, although my ds loves it, I would like to see it totally ruled out. His discussions of lunch sometimes go along the lines of "I was play fighting with A and B. C thought we really were fighting and hit B to stop it. So A hit C, and D and E saw us fighting so leapt on top to help... hmm

I think this is an exaggeration, and they get into trouble for it, but he'd probably happily play football if play fighting was banned. Which exercises him without getting him over excited.

I see huge advantages with pretend gun play at that point because at least there's no physical touching or even "nearly" hitting, but that is frowned upon instead. grin

bowerbird Fri 05-Oct-12 14:15:19

It's banned at our school, which I think is ridiculous. Playfighting is just that. Play. Fighting. Nothing to do with bullying.

LeMousquetaireAnonyme Fri 05-Oct-12 14:20:14

DD1 Y3 has just received a disciplinary report for "hitting and kicking", turns out she is "just" trying to kiss and does play fight with the boys, she has not actually hit or kicked anybody (I guess they aren't any disciplinary report for intents), so it is taken very seriously.

dikkertjedap Fri 05-Oct-12 16:21:53

Totally banned, which is clearly communicated right from the start to all groups.

Nottigermum Fri 05-Oct-12 16:58:59

Next question I suppose, do you think it should be 'banned'?

rabbitstew Fri 05-Oct-12 17:16:03

Do you ban it outside of school???? I don't really like the idea of banning normal play behaviour before it has caused any issues, I think it comes dangerously close to protecting the adults rather than being for the benefit of all the children.

coldcupoftea Fri 05-Oct-12 17:19:36

Not banned at our school, all my year 3s are constantly playing some kind of zombie game where they pretend to fight each other. I try to discourage it when I'm on playground duty, but it's not banned.

Nottigermum Fri 05-Oct-12 17:38:51

The thing is, it does get out of hand. Some of the children are actually hiding so that they can play their quiet games without being chased around and pushed to playfight. DS came back home after school yesterday with a red mark on his cheek and I oculd clearly see that it was a handmark, he said he was fighting with so and so and the other boy smacked him. Children get hurt regularly in the playground because of playfighting that gets out of hand. The thing is, I know it's normal play behaviour, but it can easily escalate and some children clearly don't know when to stop. But I don't want to suggest it or discuss it with the school without knowing what other parents think about it and I don't want to talk about with parents from school as it could be a bit 'gossipy' iyswim.

Fairenuff Fri 05-Oct-12 18:02:02

Playfighting is not allowed at our school. If they do playfight the children are given a gentle reminder. If they continue and someone gets hurt they are told that this is what happens if you playfight. When games get too rough it's time to change the game.

We try to teach them to moderate their own behaviour and realise that there can be painful consequences to playfighting.

If they still persist, they would be asked to sit out for a couple of minutes and rethink their attitude towards safe play.

Panzee Fri 05-Oct-12 18:03:40

Officially banned, but I allow it as long as I am there supervising. I'll help them move safely, say no kicking, nothing on the neck or head, etc.

RaisinBoys Fri 05-Oct-12 18:19:43

Not allowed at all in DS school now...too many kicks and wrestling moves & some children really do not know their own strength!

rabbitstew Fri 05-Oct-12 18:28:14

If you feel it is getting out of control, then tell the school you think so and why and tell them you think their behaviour policy ought to have specific reference to expected behaviour at playtimes - I think that is only reasonable. No need for the policy to refer specifically to "playfighting", but it could refer to physical assault or games deemed dangerous, to enable a certain degree of discretion as to what is deemed acceptable and what crosses over the line????

Euphemia Fri 05-Oct-12 18:32:18

Banned, as it inevitably leads to someone getting hurt.

clam Fri 05-Oct-12 19:01:59

"Playfighting is just that. Play. Fighting."

Er, no it isn't. Because it never stays at the "play" stage. It always, but ALWAYS, ends up with someone going too far and hurting someone else.

I speak with 27 years' experience of primary school teaching.

Euphemia Fri 05-Oct-12 19:03:02

Hear, hear, Clam.

Nottigermum Fri 05-Oct-12 19:04:50

There is no policy for playtime, and there's nothing specific about playtime in the behaviour policy. Would it be reasonable of me to try and speak to the school about having a section about expected behaviour in the playground? I don't want to approach the school the wrong way, I just want to improve things.

UniS Fri 05-Oct-12 20:22:17

Not "allowed" at playtime... but it still happens. Staff try to keep a lid on it and calm it down. every now n then a bunch of kids get hauled over to Heads office for fighting, then it calms down for a few days.
It is hard to work out where the line should be drawn. Is it "play " or "fight" can take a few minutes watching to work out.

bowerbird Fri 05-Oct-12 20:26:56

I have to disagree with you Clam. I hate all this wrapping our kids in cotton wool. There is risk in play and there should be. Children learn to assess and deal with risk, and as much as parents would like to, it's wrong to protect them from everything,.

The real risk is we're raising a bunch of delicate doilies.

Euphemia Fri 05-Oct-12 20:29:14

Parents can expose their kids to as much physical risk as they like; no way is that appropriate at school.

clam Fri 05-Oct-12 20:31:50

It's not about wrapping them in cotton wool. Show me a tree and I'll send my kids up it.
It's more to do with a massive amount of time being wasted spent over the years on post mortems as to who did what to whom and who started it and how "it was only pretend" and so on.
And frankly, allowing a "game" whereby one kid can aim a kick or punch at another with the bloody stupid hope that it'll stop short of its pretend target is crazy.

bowerbird Fri 05-Oct-12 20:32:10

Why Euphemia? Serious question. Why not?

Are there no risks taken at school, ever?

Eggrules Fri 05-Oct-12 20:34:35

Discouraged at home and at school.

It starts off as play and can easily go to far and end up with kids hitting each other. My DS can't help taking it too far and that isn't appropriate full stop. I fear for YOUR precious dollies and so tell him it isn't allowed. I am happy for school to do the same.

Euphemia Fri 05-Oct-12 20:37:26

They can take risks in the gym hall while supervised by a teacher. In the playground there are a few support staff watching over two hundred children - totally different.

bowerbird Fri 05-Oct-12 20:40:13

Egg, it's DOILIES, not Dollies.

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