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Play Policy

Duck Street, Cerne Abbas, Dorset, DT2 7LA

‘The Small School with the Big Heart.’

Tel: 01300 341319         Website:


Play Policy


Date of policy May 2023                

Date reviewed by the

Governing Body

FGB committee 04.05.2023

Member of staff responsible

in Cerne Abbas CE VC

First School

Andrea Schafer
Review dateMay 2026    



This school recognises the importance of all the children who attend having sufficient time and good places to play freely as part of their day. 


To children, playing is one of the most important aspects of their lives. Playing contributes to children’s health, social development, well-being and happiness as well as to their learning and their ability to learn. Some children only have the opportunity to play with their friends at school. Most importantly, playing contributes to children’s ability to thrive and survive.


We believe that we can make a very positive contribution to children’s lives by valuing their urge and desire to play and providing for a broad range of play opportunities within the school’s playground during the school day.


This school recognises that children will naturally create and/or seek out challenging situations; while making the most of their play some children may have accidents, get dirty or wet or upset. Children need permission to make mistakes, get dirty and potentially encounter minor injuries.  We recognise that any potential risk of harm to children needs to be balanced with the potential for good that may come from their taking part in a particular form of play. We will do our best to avoid children coming to any physical or emotional harm by carefully managing the play opportunities that we provide.  


This school believes that adults’ attitude towards, and understanding of, children’s play behaviour will have a significant effect on the quality of the play opportunities offered within and outside the school. This school will therefore seek out training opportunities and support research among its staff so that they are confident to facilitate children’s freely chosen, self-directed play. Playtime when children are able to do their own thing and not be directed by adults but in a safe environment is vital to their health and well being

This school recognises the child’s right to play. We will do our best to consider the value to pupil well-being when making decisions on the planning and length of the school day including playtimes, lunch times and homework scheduling. Occasionally, the teacher, as a result of a child’s behaviour, may take away their right to choose where to play (i.e. in the small playground or across the road). The adult may also occasionally deem it appropriate to ask a child to stay inside to complete some learning for a part of the playtime but we will never take the child’s whole playtime from them. We consider it not only their right but recognise the benefit to their health and wellbeing to be allowed out at all playtimes available.



A positive, purposeful and enthusiastic atmosphere

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