Normanhurst Public School

Be Respectful, Be Responsible & Strive for Success

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Inclusive Playtime

We provide enriched and diverse spaces for your children to play. 

20% of children’s time at school is spent outdoors, which makes it an important part of your child’s day. Playtimes (lunchtimes) at NPS are centered around the playwork principles—that play should be freely chosen, personally directed and intrinsically motivated. 

Play is a human right. Article 31 of The Convention on the Rights of the Child states:

“1. States Parties recognize the right of the child to rest and leisure, to engage in play and recreational activities appropriate to the age of the child and to participate freely in cultural life and the arts.”

What does inclusive play look like? 

It uses safe, repurposed large and small items to provide greater play opportunities. Anything from cardboard boxes to milk crates, loose parts, to old tyres to sand. 

Watch this video from a school in the UK that implemented playwork into their playtimes. 

What are the benefits of inclusive play?

  • More teaching time. With happier, more creative, and well-exercised children who settle in class faster.

  • Improved behaviour.  On average, there is an 80% decrease in the use of behaviour policies and a 90% drop in senior leadership time spent resolving playtime issues.

  • Improved happiness and well-being. Children and staff of schools with inclusive play report feeling less stressed and more excited about school. 

  • Inclusion makes play better for every child, every exceptions!

What are the risks?

Children need and want to take risks. It helps them explore their limits, try new experiences and is important for their development and eventual independence in the world.  While any injury is distressing for children and those who care for them, the experience of minor injuries is a universal part of childhood and has a positive role in child development.

All teachers at NPS are used to undertaking risk assessments where appropriate. Playwork encourages children to recognise potential hazards or risks and discuss these with the teachers on duty. This is an essential part of learning to problem solve as well as recognise how to keep themselves safe. 

Increasing levels of creative and imaginative play

• Children play co-operatively and socialise more

• Children are physically more active

Playing with loose parts: additional benefits for children

  • Increased levels of creative and imaginative play

  • Children play co-operatively and socialise more

  • Children are physically more active

  • Enhances cognitive skills 

  • Increases focus and engagement 

  • Boosts natural curiosity 

  • Invites conversation and collaboration 

  • Develops higher levels of critical thinking and problem solving. 

Want to learn more? Read Loose Parts and Risky Play from NSW Government

Donate loose parts

We’re always looking for new and interesting loose parts. Check out our donation sign up sheet, especially around council clear up time. Your junk could be reused in our playground!

[Loose parts donation sheet]



Outdoor Play and Learning

Kids Safe NSW

Evaluating the effects of the Lunchtime Enjoyment Activity and Play

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