Playground Duty Policy

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1. PLAYGROUND POLICY

One of the duties owed to learners on the school playground is proper supervision.  The main purpose of supervision on the playground is to help protect learners from injury or diminish the risk of learner injury.

2. SPECIFIC INFORMATION GUIDELINES FOR PLAYGROUND DUTY

  1. Know what playground equipment is designed for younger learners
  2. Know the established playground rules
  3. Know the importance of and appropriate ways to respond to various emergencies on the playground
  4. Know procedures for visitors at the school
  5. Know the layout of the entire school grounds, all playground apparatus, and out-of-bounds areas
  6. Be familiar with games used on the playgrounds and their rules
  7. Know the locations of first aid kits, telephones, fire extinguishers and the designated emergency aide
  8. Know to how to handle discipline problems
  9. Understand what his/her role is in a crisis (hail storm or other school emergency)
  10. Be able to correctly complete an incident report for a playground accident

3. GENERAL SUPERVISION INFORMATION:

  1. Understand the importance of playground supervision
  2. Be familiar with the school’s method of playground discipline
  3. Understand the difference between discipline and punishment
  4. Be able to enforce rules
  5. Know how to alter learner’s behaviour positively
  6. Understand that constant diligence in monitoring the playground is essential
  7. Understand that the location of the teacher on the playground is very important, that teachers should have an unobstructed view of the entire play area, and teachers should avoid standing together and chatting.
  8. Using the loud hailer to give instructions

4. PROPER SUPERVISION HAS FOUR BASIC COMPONENTS:

  1. Presence and attentiveness of teachers and supervisors:
    1. Being on the playground before learners start playing
    2. Staying in a reasonable proximity to the areas of activity
    3. Keeping all learners easily in sight (If one of the teachers cannot see the learners, the learners are not being properly supervised.) 
    4. Not becoming distracted from duties.
  2. Learner behaviour monitoring and intervention:
    1. Being knowledgeable of and consistently enforcing school rules and policies. Restricting learners from rough play, horseplay or other inappropriate behaviour on or near any apparatus/fence/dustbins
    2. Controlling the play environment
  3. Hazard surveillance and intervention
    1. Being risk-conscious (Prioritizing attention into the areas where accidents are most likely to occur).  Checking the playground daily, and appropriately addressing ground and equipment hazards.
  4. Responding appropriately to emergencies:
    1. Handling emergencies that occur on the playground properly to reduce potential injury and damage
    2. This involves being CPR/first aid certified or having such a staff member readily accessible.

5. GAMES ON THE PLAYGROUND

Approved games AFTER SCHOOL (Soccer and Netball are not allowed to be played during break)    

  1. Soccer
  2. Netball
  3. Jumping rope
  4. 4 square

6. RULES FOR PLAYGROUND EQUIPMENT USE (Junior)

  1. Climbing apparatus
    1. When holding on to equipment, use a firm grip by hooking the thumb around the equipment to meet the opposing fingers-the “thumb opposed grip”.
    2. Hold on with both hands
    3. Do not sit on the apparatus
    4. Do not play under the apparatus
    5. Do not carry anything when climbing on the apparatus
  2. Horizontal ladders and bars
    1. When holding on to equipment, use a firm grip by hooking the thumb around the equipment to meet the opposing fingers-the “thumb opposed grip”.
    2. Allow only one person at a time on the ladder.
    3. Start at one end of the apparatus and move in one direction
    4. Stay well behind the person in front and watch out for swinging feet.
    5. Avoid speed contests; do not try to cover too large a distance with one move.
    6. Do not hang by legs
    7. Do not stand or sit on the top bar
  3. Slides
    1. Allow only one person at a time on the sliding surface
    2. When climbing, hold on with both hands
    3. Climb one step at a time
    4. Do not go up the sliding surface or the frame
    5. Slide down feet first, sitting up, one at a time
    6. Be sure no one is in front of the slide before sliding down.
    7. Avoid pushing or shoving
  4. Regular (to-fro) swings
    1. When holding on to equipment, use a firm grip by hooking the thumb around the equipment to meet the opposing fingers-the “thumb opposing grip.”
    2. Allow only one person at a time on the swing
    3. Sit in the center of the swing; do not stand or kneel
    4. Hold on with both hands
    5. Come to a complete stop before getting off the swing.
    6. Walk around the swing – not to close to the front or back.
    7. Do not push anyone in the swing or allow others to push you.
    8. Avoid swinging or twisting empty swings.
    9. Do not touch other swings or swing frame when swinging.  No twisting or turning the swing.

7 INSPECTIONS

Playground teachers must conduct an informal visual inspection of the playground, other play areas, and all play equipment daily before each use by the learners. 

When problems are found that are beyond the scope of the playground teacher to correct, report and document these hazards for corrective action for the attention of the Principal.

Areas to inspect:

  1. Junior Playground apparatus
  2. Netball court
  3. Trees
  4. Toilets
  5. Covered play areas (hall)
  6. Cemented play areas        
  7. Fencing

8. SUPPLIES AND EQUIPMENT

       Equip playground teachers to do their job.  Appropriate supplies and equipment may include:

  • A loudhailer, whistle or other means of communicating with learners quickly
  • A clipboard, paper and pen
  • Minor first aid supplies, including protective gloves

9. HANDLING EMERGENCIES ON THE PLAYGROUND

One of the duties owed to learners on the school playground is prompt and appropriate emergency medical care.

Types of emergencies that can occur on the playground include:

  1. Medical emergencies, including serious injuries. - Prompt, appropriate medical attention can often reduce the severity of injuries.  Ensure the medical emergency plan for the playground addressed the following:
    1. Who assists the injured
    2. Who maintains control of the playground
    3. Who goes for help during the medical emergency
    4. How the above is accomplished
  2. Unidentified visitors/strangers on or near the playground - Enforcement of visitor rules is important on the playground as well as in the school building. 
    1. Challenge strangers on or around the playground by asking them who they are and what they are doing. All visitors should be given a visitor tag by the security guard
    2. If the stranger is outside of the playground, call a HOD to handle the situation.  (The playground teacher should not leave the supervision area to question a visitor).  If a stranger gives evidence of being dangerous, call for assistance from the office via the established communication system.
    3. Be alert should an abduction of a learner or a learner leaving the school grounds takes place during the school day. Report a learner’s leaving or abduction from the school playground to the office as soon as it happens or is noticed. Then follow procedures.
  3.  Physically dangerous acts, illegal acts, or overt defiance. - Handle dangerous and illegal actions according to district discipline procedures.  Call for emergency assistance from the office via established communication.

10. EMERGENCY MEDICAL CARE

  1. When an accident occurs and a child is hurt:
  2. Never fail to give aid (err on the side of caution)
  3. Do not move the child (due to the possibility of neck and spinal injury)
  4. Summon professional medical attention
  5. Report the accident to the school office
  6. Administer first aid as trained
  7. Make sure the injured child is always attended by an adult
  8. Contact parents as soon as possible (the office will do this)
  9. Do not discuss who will pay for medical care and do not admit liability
  10. Complete an accident report promptly
  11. Be sure to follow school district policies and procedures!

11. PROPER COMPLETION OF ACCIDENT/INCIDENT REPORTS

Document all playground injuries other than minor scrapes and bruises.  In completing learner accident reports, be sure to:

  1. Write legibly
  2. Report all information that you have at the time; someone may need to complete it more fully later
  3. If you do not observe the incident yourself, say how you found out about it
  4. Report just the facts – no opinions
  5. In the injury description, do not give a medical diagnosis (unless you are a trained medical professional); if the injury is suspected, state that
  6. Be as specific as you can as to where on the playground (location and equipment) the injury occurred.

12. GENERAL PLAYGROUND SAFETY RULES FOR LEARNERS

  1. Obey directions given by all playground teachers
  2. Stay within playground boundaries and away from off-limit areas.  Play games only in approved and designated areas.
  3. Use school equipment; do not bring toys and equipment from home
  4. Avoid wearing loose jewelry.
  5. Avoid wearing clothing with drawstrings.
  6. Leave pens or pencils in the classroom
  7. Do not run with suckers or sweets in your mouth
  8. Leave dirt, sawdust, stones, sticks, snowballs, rocks or other objects alone.  Leave surfacing materials on the ground.
  9. Stay away from structures such as fences, trees, or other things not intended as playground equipment.
  10. Respect other people’s space.  Keep your hands and feet to yourself.
  11. Be courteous and a good sport
  12. Speak respectfully to each other
  13. Stop playing immediately when the signal is given. (Loud hailer or whistle)
  14. Report bullying to a teacher.

13. WEATHER CONDITIONS

In wet weather, surfaces that learners walk on and hold onto become slippery and can cause them to fall.  Rainy-day schedule is enforced. 

Rainy-day procedures require learners to play only under the covered areas or to be supervised in the classrooms. The general rule on rainy days will require teachers to remain in the class with their children.