We’ve all been there.
It is a busy, noisy and dynamic place, it can seem chaotic but in general any school worth it’s salt will have playground staff which is usually (but not always) are the trusty Teaching Assistants.
There are specific rules for the playground. For each KS1 (Key Stage 1) class of 30 children there must be 1 adult.
Interestingly for KS2 (Key Stage 2) there are no set number of adults required!
Our job is to ensure the safety of the children and differing schools have different rules. The school will have a safeguarding policy and it should be on their website, you need to understand the safeguarding rules.
I cannot emphasize how important this is.
Back to the playground though and what to look out for:
Bumps, Scrapes, Grazes and Bruises:
All we can really do is clean with a wet wipe (we are not allowed to use any form of antiseptic) and possibly a plaster but you need to check and make sure the child does not have an allergy to the materials found in the common plaster.
Many will not need anything, so calming the child down, making them feel cared for and distraction can also help.
There can be very serious and ANY head injury should be treated as such. I look for a mark or a bump, check to see if the child feels sick or dizzy and (at my school and at many) send the child with an older child into the school office when the school staff will make a further assessment of any injuries. The parents will always be informed of any head injury.
We cannot remove them anymore.
Take the child to the office.
I have never seen a broken bone in any playground but we never know so any injury must be taken seriously because it does happen.
Calling an Ambulance:
That will most likely be down to the office staff but as a First Aider (your school should have you trained – I am Level 3 Paediatric First Aider) you should give your opinion.
This has to be stopped as it can escalate and injuries are inevitable.
Any form of bullying in unacceptable and should be reported immediately and should be logged on the behaviour log.
Children sitting by themselves
Children tend to sit by themselves for a number of reasons. They may have no one to play, they may be upset, home life may be hard or they could be SEN (Special educational Needs). Get down to their eye level, ask them open ended questions with care and concern and report anything unusual or suspicious.
Hitting or kicking
Physical violence is not acceptable under any circumstances and should be stopped and reported immediately.
Bickering and Disagreements
You will come across many of these and will need to make a decision on what you are told. Most are just silliness and a few words will usually help.