Late last year we made the decision to make the Library a technology free zone during Junior School lunchtime. The motivation behind this choice was not to be punitive, but to encourage creative play, social engagement and to foster the health and wellbeing of our young students.
The emphasis on play was a conscious one by the library, as research has shown that play engages children in the process of learning. In his book, Let the Children Play Finnish educator, Pasi Sahlberg discusses how more play will help our children explore, discover, fail, socialise and flourish – all skills they will need to leverage in their future.
We prepared for this shift by augmenting the games we had on offer, bulking up our lego supplies until they reached an epidemic proportion and making everything easily accessible. We are all about the 'giant' games, the favourite games of our childhood which have been repurposed, resized and now rediscovered by our Junior School students.
In the process we have witnessed some complex lego creations, sophisticated domino structures and intense chess exchanges, but mostly what we have noticed is an authentic desire for play.
On any given lunch there will be upwards of 100 students in here designing, creating, building, problem-solving, reading and sharing ideas with each other. In our era of innovation, design thinking is a powerful tool and stripping it back to its purest form has been transformative for our Junior School lunches.
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