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School School 13

Western Australia, Australia
Government Primary School and Primary School

School 13 was visited in late Autumn in 2010. A government, co-ed, K - 7 school in a Western Australian metropolitan centre, the school enjoys high levels of attendance and academic performance. It is a large school (approx 630 enrolments) occupying one campus in a high socioeconomic area with most parents employed in professional fields. The staff of 59 comprises 38 teachers, 3 administration and 18 support staff. The playground is large, however a substantial proportion of it was off limits at the time fieldwork was undertaken due to the construction of new buildings as part of the federal Government Building Education Revolution program. The school is very aware of the sanitisation of play and the encroachment of OHS-fuelled limitations to play, and is concerned about the impact of 'over-protection' on the development of resilience in children. The principal stressed the importance of play-based education and socialisation and stated that the only specific rules relating to play were bans on running on the verandahs. While safety was always a concern, the principal hoped that it would never be such a concern that the school would have to introduce specific 'forbiddings'.