Peaceful Playgrounds in Australia

Peaceful Playgrounds was founded in America by Dr Melinda Bossenmeyer. She spent 29 years in public schools in California as a teacher, principal, and county office administrator. She was a principal struggling with the discipline problems that most schools face as a result of lunchtime in the playground. Through observation and research on the playground she learned that most playground problems could be synthesised into 5 main areas which she calls the Peaceful Playgrounds Creed.  These problems and her solutions make up the Peaceful Playgrounds Program today.

  1. Conflict Resolution
  2. Rules
  3. Equipment
  4. Expectations
  5. Designs.

It’s an exciting time for Health and Physical Education in Australia with the publication of the new national curriculum and there is no better time than now to bring Peaceful Playgrounds to Australia. Education authorities, schools and teachers are all grappling with the new conceptual framework presented within the curriculum and new content. The suite of programs offered by Peaceful Playgrounds Australia provides ready-to-use engaging ways to deliver health and physical education content in the primary school. They also provide schools with ways to optimise the potential offered by their playground space.

About Janice Atkin

Janice Atkin
Janice Atkin has worked as a curriculum consultant for the past 16 years, initially with the NSW Department of Education and most recently with the Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority. She has also worked in consultancy roles with a range of not-for-profit organisations. She is a previous President of the Australian Council for Health, Physical Education and Recreation NSW Branch (ACHPER NSW) and was Vice President on the ACHPER National Board.

Janice has an insider’s view of the new curriculum and an intimate knowledge of the content and intent of the curriculum having managed the process of development from start to finish whilst employed with the Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority (ACARA).

As well as managing the development of the Australian Curriculum Health and Physical Education her previous projects have included syllabus development at the international and state level and providing curriculum implementation support and professional development to primary and secondary schools in the HPE learning area.

The potential of playgrounds

Janice’s interest in the power of playgrounds began in 2005 when researching an article on active playgrounds for the Curriculum Support newsletter. It’s been 10 years in the making but the programs are finally available for schools to access.