Pupils play on UN day

June 13, 2024 BY

Playful purpose: St James' Parish School's foundational or discovery students Oliver, Jaxon, and Bentley assembled mini vehicles as part of their International Day of Play activities. Photo: TIM BOTTAMS

PLAY was the order of the day for children at St James’ Parish School in Sebastopol earlier this week with staff and students acknowledging the first-ever International Day of Play.

Held throughout Tuesday as a United Nations initiative, the school’s classrooms were buzzing with chaos, colour, and creativity across the institution’s various year levels.

Principal, Garth Kydd said the day involved a range of engaging activities.

“This morning we’ve had students within their learning communities with developmentally appropriate play taking place,” he said.

“For our foundational students, it’s a lot of sensory manipulatives, things like balloons, bubbles, and then small mini-worlds for our grades 1 and 2 before there’s things like construction and formalised play.

“In the middle session kids are able to choose activities taking place with students interacting with different year levels and dealing more with sciences.

“This afternoon will be all outside and nature play, building huts and tee-pees, creating castles, where the kids can immerse themselves.”

The day started off with play sessions in the morning followed by sessions around science, technology, and maths, before activities were held outside in the afternoon.

Shaurya played as a pizzamaker during the morning’s activities.


Mr Kydd said the day was about recognising the importance of play for a child’s development.

“For the past 15 years, St James has been on a journey of investigating how play can best influence the way children can develop,” he said.

“It’s a fundamental part of childhood but also of life in general. It provides a really safe space for children to develop their emotions and also teaches them all the social skills around collaboration.”

St James’ Parish School currently has 156 students.