I have begun to take the camera outside with me when I am on duty so that when opportunities arise to photograph our students in action (and there have been a number I have missed), I can capture them as a tangible record of just have imaginative they are.
In the past I didn’t take photographs – the boys who built a working roller coaster over in the hut building area; the vast number of students who played “Pee Wee” without any disagreement over rules; the student who designed and built a small chair complete with leaning backrest or the students who went from using slats of wood to modifying skateboards without wheels, then adding Velcro straps to the boards so that their feet wouldn’t slip whilst zooming down a huge pile of wood chips. This must have been a New Zealand first – if not a world first!
This week the ball swing provided an opportunity. An opportunity to swing through a sawdust gouge that had filled with rain water. Of course, when the rain water ran thin the problem was promptly solved by ferrying water to the area via wheelbarrow.
At Matahui School the staff give the students some freedom to explore, within reason, these opportunities, so “Day 1” saw us providing some dry clothing to the bedraggled ball riders – “Day 2” the students brought a change of uniform from home. So if the washing pile at home increased you will understand why and if you felt a little annoyed, take a moment to reflect on a playground where students continue to learn through play and can be children.
This game will cease and another will take its place as is the way in the playground. We look forward to the next imaginative, inventive activity that will engage and entertain as our students seize the moment.