The Headteachers who were afraid of snow

Ges Smith, the East London Headteacher who banned children from touching snow, should be fearing the dozens of angry phone calls from parents demanding to know why he has denied children their fundamental right to play.

In an interview with Piers Morgan on Good Morning Britain, the headteacher from the Jo Richardson Community school in Dagenham defended his actions, citing the fact that children need to be ‘fit for work’ before they come into the classroom, as well as fears of being sued if a child at school was injured by a snowball.  Continue reading “The Headteachers who were afraid of snow”

Outdoor People’s reflections on 2017

Round the Outdoor Family Camping campfire in August, one of our amazing Outdoor People volunteers, Sarah Waite (an ethnographer and coach in her 9 to 5 life), got everyone, from youngest to eldest, reflecting on their ‘3 Great Things’ each evening.

It’s a really simple everyday technique that’s proven to help make you happier. Once you’ve started, it gets brilliantly addictive. It’s one of the many simple but profound lessons I took from 2017, and I hope it can help all of you Outdoor Peeps as we move into 2018…

Continue reading “Outdoor People’s reflections on 2017”

How do you turn a looming crisis into a public debate?

Think back to your childhood… Where did you play? How long for? And what did you get out of it?

At the International Seminar on Children’s Play in the Urban Environment last week, I was reminded by one of the speakers, Ali Wood, how important it is, as parents and practitioners, to keep asking these questions. Not just think about what play is, but how, where and when children now actually get the opportunity to play. Not playing computer games (fun as they are), or sport (again fun as that is), but playing as themselves, for themselves. Continue reading “How do you turn a looming crisis into a public debate?”

Dirt is Good… taking the play campaign global

Outdoor Classroom Day

74% of children in the UK get outdoors for less than an hour a day[1] – far less than the recommended daily outdoor time for prisoners, and even less than the average pensioner[2]. This is the headline stat from market research conducted by Edelman Berland for the Unilever Dirt is Good campaign. It was a global piece of market research, and you won’t be surprised that out of the ten countries surveyed, the UK came out worst.

This blog is specifically about how I’ve got involved in this particular campaign and why I think it is important. I hope you do too.

Continue reading “Dirt is Good… taking the play campaign global”