Many of our children love nothing better than a game of football at playtime. We love to see them engaged in sporty play, having fun and exercising. However, football can create problems and fall-outs. Lots of the children take it very, very seriously and struggle to cope when things aren’t going their way. Their games, particularly in Key Stage One, tend to be a bit chaotic.

We’ve thought long and hard about this and decided we absolutely do not want to take the step many primary schools take, which is to ban football. It’s our national sport and the children love it. So, a few weeks back, we decided to trial more organised football, with an adult referee and teams clearly identifiable with coloured bibs. Every year group gets to play at some point during the week. We set some expectations and introduced some modified rules to make the games calmer and also better for children’s football development. We introduced a system of red and yellow cards, none of which we’ve had to use yet!

The children have responded brilliantly and we can see a clear improvement in the quality and safety of their play. They tell us unanimously that they are enjoying it more. We’ll continue this as we move (hopefully) onto the field for breaks. Thanks go out to staff, many of whom have agreed to  increase the number of break duties they do to accommodate this and who all stayed late  after school one evening for an extra training session on how to referee!