PLAY IS THE WAY is a games based methodology for teaching social and emotional learning. PLAY IS THE WAY uses guided play, classroom activities and an empowering language. It is a methodology that we use at Hackham East Primary to develop, improve and entrench the personal and social capabilities of students. Our aim is for the students at Hackham East Primary School to become self motivated, self regulated learners in charge of their own learning and behaviour.
There are three parts to the methodology:
1. A program of physically interactive games that students play regularly each and every week.
Every Monday, Wednesday and Friday morning each class takes part in the whole school Play is The Way games. The purpose of the games is to help students develop patterns of behaviour that are socially accepted. Every game has a focused learning objective. They help students to respond appropriately to the thrill of success and the disappointment of failure. They assist students in controlling impulsive behaviour. The games also assist students to strengthen their skills of teamwork and cooperation through working together as a class for a common outcome. The challenge for the teachers, SSOs and students is to relate the learning from the games back to challenges in the classroom, out at recess and lunch and in the home environment.
2. A simple and effective "reflective language" that helps children to master their own behaviour.
The simple and reflective language is based around asking questions rather than telling. Six basic questions that teachers use in the classroom that parents can use at home are...
- Is that the right or wrong thing to do?
- Are you having a strong or weak moment?
- Are your feelings in charge of your actions or is your thinking in charge?
- Are you running away from the problem or are you dealing with it?
- Are you being your own boss or are you inviting me to be your boss?
- Am I trying to help you or hurt you?
By simply asking a question, allows the student to do the thinking rather than the teacher, SSO or parent. You don’t need to use one of the questions above, just ask a question, followed by another question and so on. It allows the student to do all the thinking and to reflect on how their behaviours or actions may be affecting them self or someone else.
3. Five key concepts that when understood and are embedded, help to guide and direct the way students live and learn. These key concepts are known as Life Rafts.
The 5 key concepts are…
- Have reasons for the things you see and do
- Pursue your personal best no matter who you work with
- Treat others as you would like them to treat you
- It takes great strength to be sensible
- Be brave – participate to progress
The Life Raft lessons are explicitly taught throughout the year. The Life Rafts’ are used in conjunction with the Play is The Way games and the reflective language. Each concept is unpacked using activities and scenarios that encourage reflection, critical thinking and discussion.
Play is The Way continues to be embedded into everything we do at Hackham East Primary School. It helps us to support students towards our ultimate goal of all students taking control of their own learning and behaviour.