What role does Recess play in the school day? Food break? Toilet Break? Just a break?
Dont be too concerned if you’re not exactly sure. Not many Primary Schools know the answer either.
Buckling under the pressure to include more academic instruction throughout the day, many schools are now disregarding the “Recess Break” completely. Source
However eliminating the 20 minute break may hinder more than help student’s academic achievements. Dr David Elkind, Author of “The Power of Play”, believes that Recess plays a vital role in academic success. This is because outside activity best sets the stage for academic learning in the first place. Children learn how to obtain mutual respect and achieve cooperation with their classmates through role-playing and negotiation of rules in the playground, which in turn prepares them for successful classroom learning. Source
A recent Australian study also showed that consistently breaking up sedentary time with short bursts of physical activity- for even just a few minutes at a time- can drastically improve our overall health and well-being. Source.
Students should be encouraged to get outside and get active to revitalise and refresh their minds for improved classroom performance.
Perhaps rather than ruling out Recess completely, schools should consider changing it from simply being a “Recess Break” to an “Activity Break”?