Honing the Playground Zoning in Brazil – Divide and Rule by Anne D’Heuresel Baldisseri TES Article Sept 2014

Playground zoning has never been so effective – read how a creative school in Brazil, where Jenny Mosley has been training in her model, uses playground zoning amongst other strategies to get the very best out of playtimes.


Jenny has enjoyed working with Anne D’Heuresel Baldisseri, the author of this article, in Brazil and so was thrilled to be sent this article on playground zoning, as published in the TES.

05 September 2014

How I teach – A divide and rule play plan (5th September 2014)

We used to have a pretty normal playground set-up at our pre-preparatory school in São Paolo. But, back in 2010, we decided to revolutionise it.

In order to allow more opportunities for play, exploration, creativity and critical thinking, which are key to childhood development, we addressed the quality of provision for play in our school grounds.

Over several months, the staff met frequently. Using the book Positive Playtimes: exciting ideas for a calmer school (Jenny Mosley and Georgia Thorp, 2005), we shared ideas on how to transform the playground into a more child-friendly and play-orientated space.

Eventually, we came up with a plan. We would adapt the playground to provide areas in which children could play freely, but we would also include zones focused on different types of play and exploration. We settled on 12 zones:

  • traditional games zone: contains a box of toys and a booklet of games and activities;
  • quiet zone: an area where children can calm down, read books and play board games;
  • mark-making zone: contains tables where pupils can work on a variety of creative projects;
  • action games zone: for the playing of active games;
  • craze-of-the-week zone: an area offering different toys for children to explore;
  • role-play zone: does what it says on the tin;
  • costume zone: for dressing up;
  • healing zone: where children who are feeling unwell can sit and rest;
  • four free zones: apparatus includes sand and water tanks, houses, climbing frames and slides.

Once the playground had been overhauled, we tasked teachers and assistants with observing and interacting with children while they are at play – valuable information about their social and emotional well-being can be gleaned from these moments. Other adults are on duty to supervise the children and ensure their health and safety, enabling teachers and assistants to get on with their task.

Six of the zones are continually monitored; the member of staff on duty teaches children how to get the most out of the activities. We allow pupils to explore the whole playground during playtime. They can choose where they want to go and move freely between all areas and zones.

To read the rest of the article on the TES website  CLICK HERE

We look forward to reading future articles from Anne.


Website Manager’s Notes

1.  Jenny Mosley has had several different training trips to Brazil in the last few years and has successfully taken her educational Golden Model into a number of different schools and contributed to a large conference. Jenny has worked with the author of this article, Anne Taffin D’Heuresel Baldisseri in St Paul’s School, Sao Paolo, Brazil.

2. Jenny runs successful and transformative courses for Early Years and Primary education. Courses focus upon improving social skills, positive behaviour for learning, circle time and social skills, and lunchtimes and playtimes training –Click here to see all forthcoming public conferences that anyone can attend.

3. For all other training enquiries – better behaviour for learning, improved social and communication skills, circle times, working with parents as partners and more, phone 01225 767157 or email circletime@jennymosley.co.uk.

4. Resources to support all of Jenny’s training are available on our website  www.circle-time.co.uk/shop 

5. For outdoor zoning signs and outdoor posters see our webshop collection HERE.