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!

TheBuskersDog Fri 05-Oct-12 20:44:07

bowerbird, what risk do you want to see, the child who understands perfectly how to pretend to punch/kick someone Batman style without contact risking being hurt by the child who will throw him to the ground, sit on him and punch him and then claim "I was just playing."

Chunkamatic Fri 05-Oct-12 20:47:54

I have banned play fighting at home recently for exactly the reason that it never ends well. The whole premise of fighting being a game is stupid.... I don't understand why you would want to encourage it?

My DS's are both physical boys, so we do rough and tumble games...roliing around, tickling etc, and I feel that is a valid and important way to play but don't nderstand why "fighting" of any description is encouraged?

If I've missed something I'm happy to be enlightened....

dikkertjedap Fri 05-Oct-12 20:59:36

I think life in school is very different now compared with the past.

At least in state schools. Classes are big, virtually without exception. Curriculum is very full and demanding. A lot is expected from children from a very young age. A significant proportion of children have chaotic home lives and this creates further issues at school.

For many children life at school is not easy. Making friends can be hard, bullying is often an issue, expectations may be set too low or too high, etc. etc. etc.

rabbitstew Fri 05-Oct-12 21:24:51

And just how easy is it to tell the difference between a game of "playfighting" and playing that turns physically vicious? I'd be less bothered by two boys pretending to shoot each other in the playground or pretending to be marshall arts experts without actually touching each other than I would by a game of chase getting over-excited and someone ramming into someone else or grabbing hold of their collar and practically strangling them to stop them, or knocking them over and sitting on them to catch them... I think actually using the word "playfighting" in a policy is therefore silly, if what you actually don't like is aggressive physical contact of any sort, however it started. And I wouldn't ban all chasing games, just because they frequently end up with children hitting each other and getting upset, either... nor would I ban all skipping ropes because children can hurt each other with them without meaning to... And there is no more bullying today than there ever was: playtime has always been the most dangerous part of the day in school when bullying and physical violence are least well controlled.

BoysBoysBoysAndMe Fri 05-Oct-12 21:31:15

I think if its isn't banned in schools there needs to be enough staff to moniter it.

Ds1 play fights and he's just started in y1.

Although I can explain he's not to be too rough, grab anyone by the neck, kick or punch anyone on the floor etc - play fighting I would intervene with if I was there- it's very difficult for a 5 year old to judge what is going to hurt another person.

And they get so carried away with it all.

Generally I don't mind it, if I can supervise it or know someone else is supervising it-but I try to discourage ds1 from doing it.

I don't want him hurting someone and don't want him being hurt, though I accept most boys at some point will play fight.

yellowsun Fri 05-Oct-12 22:22:01

The trouble with play fighting is that it can seem just a game for some, and real to others. Play fighting is banned at my school yet I still spend a great deal of my time dealing with the fall out when it goes too far. Children get upset, hurt and it interferes with lesson time trying to sort out who started it.

Of course teachers/school staff treat their own children differently in terms of risk taking.

Fairenuff Sat 06-Oct-12 10:47:39

I don't think school is the place for risk taking. I think that is a decision that can only be made by individual parents outside of school and the responsibility for any consequences such as broken bones, etc. lies with them.

I try to minimise risk as much as I can at school. It should be as safe an environment as possible imo. We don't want children getting hurt if it can be avoided.

Eggrules Sat 06-Oct-12 10:53:00

bowerbird - I stand corrected. grin I fear for doilies AND dollies.

In my experience, it always starts out well; without fail someone will connect and that can sometimes start real fighting - even if that is play at first.

My DS can go from playing nicely to bottle of pop in about 3 seconds. He started a play karate fight (no contact was made) at a birthday party a few weeks ago and a little girl punched him in the eye. He felt it was totally unprovoked but I could tell from her face she was really shocked.

EverybodysCryEyed Sat 06-Oct-12 10:57:47

My ds ha a problem in reception because one boy always wanted to play fight with him. The problem was that ds just saw it as fighting anD didn't want to do it! The teacher had to get involved because it got to the point that ds felt bullied and the other boy was misunderstood really.

They now get on well once ds understood the other boy actually really liked him, he just didn't know how to play any other way

Eggrules Sat 06-Oct-12 11:40:32

That could be my boy EverybodysCryEyed. He doesn't understand why boys want to play football instead of Power Rangers/Clone Troppers/etc. At school he has been asked not to make guns out of Lego.

UniS Sat 06-Oct-12 21:28:03

You can "ban " it all you like but in reality in the heat of the playground... some kids are going to play games that get out of hand on occasion.
Like it or not primary age children play fast running games, games for chase and capture and pretend games that investigate conflict...

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