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School School 16

New South Wales, Australia
Government Primary School and Primary School

School 16 is a large, government, co-ed school located in a large regional centre in New South Wales. Fieldworkers visited the school in the middle of winter in 2008. Once considered solidly 'middle-class', the school has recently become far more diverse in terms of its students socio-economic background and English-language abilities.

There are an increasing number of new arrivals attending the school. Some children catch buses from outlying areas but most children who attend the school live in town. 710 students were split across two campuses; K - 2 were on one, taught by 15 teachers while Years 3 - 6 were on the other, taught by 14 teachers. Neither site has a large playground which has meant that many students have needed to modify their play to this smaller space, especially ball games.

The school has general rules regarding safe play, which include the injunction to 'always stay where a teacher can see you', a ban on the throwing of sticks and stones, and a ban on guns and swords. Children are also encouraged to leave any special toys, games or cards they bring to school in the classroom to avoid breakages. The school is also concerned to ensure that the playground is organised to support both active and quiet/passive play spaces, and is particularly concerned with the possibility that boys - due to their size and activity level - have a tendency to dominate play areas on a small site.