DATELINE – 9.30PM, TUESDAY 21 OCTOBER ON SBS ONE
It sounds like a child’s dream and a parent’s nightmare… a school with no rules.
But at Swanson School in Auckland, New Zealand, a blind eye is turned at break time while the kids run amok outside.
On Tuesday’s Dateline, reporter Dani Isdale joins the children as they climb trees and fences, skid around on bikes, wrestle with each other and fire makeshift weapons around a playground littered with potential hazards.
It’s all allowed … and even encouraged. The teachers don’t intervene, and the kids are left to sort out any issues themselves.
“The need to wrap up our kids in cotton wool and not give them an opportunity to hurt themselves… you are actually taking away a lot of learning opportunities,” says principal Bruce McLachlan on the thinking behind it.
When playtime ends, serious learning begins and he says the children are much more receptive, confident and cooperative after their ‘free range’ play.
The kids love it, but do parents think he’s gone too far? See Dani’s full story on Tonight at 9.30pm on SBS ONE.