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14 March 2018
We heard that children and young people of all ages want their school to be more fun, to provide them with better opportunities to play and explore for themselves, both inside and outside the classroom. This playful dimension of learning is fundamental to the happiness and healthy development of children and young people. It is also integral to maintaining interest and engagement in school – making it fun.
Children and young people’s ideas for making schools better encompassed the physical environment in the school, the facilities they can use to play on and learn from, the relationship with the teacher, the respect among students, how bullying is dealt with, and things that affect them such as their ability to make choices that affect their life’s opportunities.
“Air conditioning. The classrooms get so bloody hot that they're unbearable...” (Secondary school student, NZ European)
“I love free play time and getting outside so that I can actually breathe” (Primary school student, Kiwi/Canadian).
“…learn more things that will help us with our life after school, taxes, parenting, life skills etc.” (Secondary school student, Asian)
“More support when we need it.”(Secondary school student, Māori/Pasefika)
“…more freedom in what we learn about.” (Secondary school student, NZ European)
“I would change the way we use the iPads and make it so we don’t use them so much because they don’t help you learn too much.” (Primary school student, NZ European)
 The right to play is enshrined in the Children’s Convention under article 31.