Primary education: listening and observing
Primary education: listening and observing

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Primary education: listening and observing

2 What do children think about the school playgrounds and playtime?

Now you’ll hear from two playground experts.

Daniel is 6 years old, and Isla is 7 years old. In this audio recording, they talk about their school playground, with Kimberly Safford from The Open University. The playground they talk about is the same one you watched in Activity 2.

In the interview, Daniel and Isla talk about what they like and don’t like about the playground and playtimes in school. You’ll hear them talk about the differences between the tarmac playground and the field area that you watched earlier. They talk about the playground tarmac artwork that you saw in the video, and they mention a ‘Trim Trail’ in the field area. They also describe things they wish they could have in their playground, like a ‘quiet’ area and a ‘friend bench’. They talk about games they like to play such as ‘It’, ‘Conga Line’, and ‘Everybody Sunbathe’, and team games like handball and football. They talk about what makes them happy and what makes them sad in the playground. They also talk about what they would like to have in their ‘dream’ playground.

Activity 3 Children talking about the playground

Timing: Allow about 20 miunutes

As you listen to the interview, notice how Daniel and Isla seem very shy at first, but they but warm-up to the discussion after a little while. Note down your observations.

Download this audio clip.Audio player: Audio 1
Skip transcript: Audio 1

Transcript: Audio 1

KIMBERLEY SAFFORD

What do you like about your playtime, when you have playtime at school? What do you like about playtime? Let's start with Isla, and then we'll go to Daniel. Isla, what do you like about playtime?

CHILD

When we get to be with our friends.

KIMBERLEY SAFFORD

CHILD

What do you do with your friends?

CHILD

Run around and have fun.

KIMBERLEY SAFFORD

CHILD

Daniel, what do you like about playtimes?

CHILD

Having fun with my friends.

KIMBERLEY SAFFORD

When you go out to your playground, tell me, what does it look like? What do you do in it?

CHILD

It's really big, and there's colours on the floor. There's hopscotch, and you can keep your balance on it and run. And there's like squares where It tells you what to do, and then you have to do it in the box.

KIMBERLEY SAFFORD

What kind of things does it tell you to do?

CHILD

Like hop and stretch and that.

KIMBERLEY SAFFORD

Were you going to say something?

CHILD

And it tells you to do-- it tells you to bounce on one of your legs 10 times.

KIMBERLEY SAFFORD

Can you do that?

CHILD

Yes.

CHILD

We normally run around it, and we have fun and play games and do hand claps and that.

KIMBERLEY SAFFORD

And sometimes do you go out into the field?

CHILD

Yes.

CHILD

Yes, at lunchtime.

KIMBERLEY SAFFORD

What do you-- and is that different to the morning playtime?

CHILD

Yes.

KIMBERLEY SAFFORD

What's different about the field?

CHILD

Because at lunchtime, if you're in the playground, we get to bring our balls out on the field. But if you're on the playground, you can only-- you can't kick. But if you're on the field, you can kick. You can only bounce it on the playground. And on the field, there are two football goals, and there's no football goals on the playground.

CHILD

And in the field, there's grass, and on the playground, there's not. And there's a trim trail on the field.

KIMBERLEY SAFFORD

What's that?

CHILD

A trim trail?

KIMBERLEY SAFFORD

What do you do on that?

CHILD

Well, there's like a bridge you can walk across. There's a balance beam when you walk across and there's this ramp where you can go up and you can pose. And there's a climbing wall.

KIMBERLEY SAFFORD

And which do you like better, the field or the playground?

CHILD

Field.

KIMBERLEY SAFFORD

Which do you like better, Daniel?

CHILD

I like field because I like playing football.

KIMBERLEY SAFFORD

Why do you like the field better?

CHILD

Because you can skip on it, and you won't touch other people, because it's much more bigger.

KIMBERLEY SAFFORD

And sometimes are there problems in the playground at all? Are there sometimes things that go wrong or things you don't like about it?

CHILD

Yeah, because if you-- if someone accidentally trips you over, it'll hurt you more than the field because the playground's really rocky, and the field's only made out of grass.

KIMBERLEY SAFFORD

I saw some children playing conga-- congo lines?

[LAUGHTER]

Conga.

KIMBERLEY SAFFORD

Will you tell me about that? I don't know what that is.

CHILD

Some people just start a conga line, where you just go around doing the conga. And then more people come.

CHILD

Yeah, you hold each other's shoulders. But if you don't want them to hold your shoulders, they could hold somewhere else, because if they're really little and you're really tall, they have to hold somewhere lower down. Like my little sister, she has to hold my hips and pull her shirt. She's just like, yay!

KIMBERLEY SAFFORD

[LAUGHS] So you play It, there's the conga line, what else do you play in the playground sometimes?

CHILD

Hmm, well, my friends, when it was just year two outside, everyone kept on saying, everybody sunbathe.

KIMBERLEY SAFFORD

Everybody sunbathe? And then what would you do?

[CHUCKLES]

CHILD

And they were skipping around singing, everybody sunbathe. Then they were there and cardigans or coats on the floor and sunbathe.

CHILD

And at lunchtime, we like playing handball. It's like football, but you have to use your hands instead. It's really fun, because it's bigger and you get to get spaced out and have your own bit of it. So you can get-- and you can go with your friends and talk when-- like, in the classroom, you're not allowed to talk. So on the playground and the field, you are.

CHILD

I think what's nice about the playground is you can see children from other classes, because otherwise, you're always in your own class. So you get to see younger children, older children.

CHILD

Yeah, like in Year 6, Year 5, Year 4, Year 3.

CHILD

And on the playground, you can see the littler children that haven't even made in the Year. Like, you can see preschool.

CHILD

We like playing with the teachers, because some of the teachers know how to do hand claps.

CHILD

Yeah and sometimes, me and my friends, we like it's a teacher, and when then they'll start chasing us.

KIMBERLEY SAFFORD

When we were in the playground this morning, I was noticing that girls were playing with girls and boys were playing with boys. And do you think girls and boys play separately, or do you play together sometimes?

CHILD

Sometimes we play together. Sometimes they don't because they want to be with their own friends. Like, if I don't have anyone to play with, I might go and play with the boys. So it would be nicer if you played with the boys for some time and then the girls so you can be together.

CHILD

Mostly when we play games, mostly the girls will play with them. Like, the girls will come and play with boys. But only sometimes the boys play with the girls.

KIMBERLEY SAFFORD

And why is that, do you think?

CHILD

I do not know. Maybe-- I don't know.

KIMBERLEY SAFFORD

So what happens sometimes in the playground that's not so nice or goes wrong sometimes?

CHILD

When you don't have any friends to play with. It's just then you feel lonely, and you won't have anything to do. And this is the bit like I don't like, because if your friend play a game, and then you want to join in, but they don't let you, it's really unfair, because then you won't have anyone to play with.

CHILD

Just feel really upset, because if your friend doesn't want to play with you, then you've got no one to play with.

KIMBERLEY SAFFORD

If you could have anything you wanted in the playground, if you could have your dream playground, what would be in it?

CHILD

A friend bench-- when you don't have any friends, you could sit on it, and then if someone else doesn't, and it's your friend, you could go and play with them.

CHILD

Like, if you had just loads of friends, like there's everyone, like if there's too much people in the school for like having any friends, and then no one will get sad. And they don't fall out or do anything. That is really happy.

CHILD

--quiet corner too.

KIMBERLEY SAFFORD

So sitting?

CHILD

We could have a quiet corner.

KIMBERLEY SAFFORD

What would be in the quiet corner? What would it be like?

CHILD

If you want to have some peace and quiet, you can sit there and have it, because the playground is normally really noisy, because everyone's really spread out and really noisy, because they're outside. So you could have a corner where that's not much people going around. You could sit there. If you've got a headache, you could.

CHILD

Yeah, and if you were in the quiet corner if you just wanted to rest, and and you had everyone, but you can't hear everyone, you can do meditation. And you should have a place like-- if you were really, really guilty of some sin, then you'll just take away the guilt, and then you will just forget about it instantly.

End transcript: Audio 1
Audio 1
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