Australian broadcaster’s SBS Dateline No Rules School minidoc is a quick primer on risky play. Swanson School in Auckland, New Zealand is a place that kids the world over would overwhelmingly vote ‘best school ever’ and ‘school I’d most like to attend’. When our three young ones saw it, they couldn’t believe their eyes. If transfers had been possible, they would have enrolled as quick as you can say tree climbing.
I’ve watched this short item, 12 minutes running time, on four or five occasions since it was first broadcast in 2014. Each time I see something different about the kids as they freerange throughout the school grounds. Various forms of play are taking place in situations that are unthinkable in most school settings.
Reporter Dani Isdale is visibly struck by some of what she sees. The Dateline team put together an insightful report with a strong narrative.
“Kids seem too busy for technology.”
Dani Isdale – SBS Dateline
If you haven’t had a chance to see this piece yet and you’re curious about risky play, this is a great little case study. The striking story got quite a bit of play in the international media following its initial broadcast. Free play is still going strong at Swanson as posted on the school’s website.
No Rules School is also available to view on YouTube.
Is this a school environment you would support for your own kids? Watch the video and listen to principal Bruce McLachlan share his perspective on how this shift has transformed the playground.