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Learning through play during recess time

11 Jul 2014

Learning through play during recess time_2

“Recess play” is an informal setting for students to learn values and social skills at Opera Estate Primary School!

Learning through play during recess time_1“It’s recess time!”

Bursting out of their classrooms with this joyful shout, students make their way not just to the canteen, but to the playground, school field and parade square. Recess is not just time for having a meal, but a time for play too!

Play is important for the development of young children. Through the teachable moments during recess play at Opera Estate Primary School, students learn to understand themselves better, develop social skills and practise values.

Playing together with teachers

After having a bite, students are free to venture outdoors for soccer and other sports, use the fitness playground or choose to stay indoors for board games. As students play, teachers supervise and watch over them.

When play gets too rough or physical, teachers will step in to call for a time-out. Taking a moment to pause and reflect gives students an opportunity to understand their behaviour and develop more self-awareness. By talking with the teacher, students also realise the impact of their actions on others in the social context of play and learn to view the situation from the perspective of others.

“The teacher guides students to manage their ‘real-world’ problems, for example, taking turns and organising themselves during play. It is so effective that they even take the initiative to look for the teacher to guide them in playing,” said Mdm Lienda, a Senior Teacher.

In a very relevant and casual setting, students learn to manage their emotions and learn about others. Being sensitive towards others and caring for each other also means that students learn about safety and responsibility during their time of fun and games.

Impacting students’ social well-being and behaviour

Such development of students’ social behaviour and well-being has had an effect on the whole school. By creating a culture of care, others who join the school are able to pick it up and learn from the examples set by the older students.

Learning through play during recess time_3For Primary One students who are meeting new friends in an unfamiliar environment, this has been especially effective. By observing their seniors, they learn and develop social skills such as waiting for their turn. Most importantly, they learn to look after themselves, as well as for the safety of others.

For teachers, observations about students’ behaviour and play pattern during recess help in reinforcing character education. During Form Teacher Guidance Periods, teachers are more aware and better able to deal with the issues that the students face.

Recess play has certainly taken on a whole new meaning for the school – one that is filled with learning opportunities for our students!


For more information, visit Opera Estate Primary School’s website. If you are registering your child for Primary One, check out this infographic on the Primary One Registration Exercise 2014!