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In January 2017 our time in the Secondary School began – more specifically, in Grade 5. The first days were very exciting and there was a lot to learn: the names of new teachers, the position of new classrooms and new subjects.
After a few weeks our class teacher asked whether there was anything that was lacking in the secondary phase and we soon agreed that we were missing the jungle gyms and climbing frames on the playground. The remaining lesson was spent discussing the reasons for missing this equipment:
- Prevents boredom
- Encourages having fun exercising
- Reduces stress during breaks
- Contact is made with other learners
- Conflict is prevented
- It is a meaningful recreational activity
- Encourages the learning of rules of the game and interaction
- Supports motor co-ordination
The reasons were sound and our teacher was convinced. She encouraged us to write a petition – a public request – to collect signatures and to present this officially to Mr Bachmeier. Said and done: the petition was set up, lists for signatures were created and distributed.
After only one week we were ready: Mr Bachmeier was invited and the petition was handed over officially within the frame of the lesson.
Now we had set the ball rolling: Mr Bachmeier presented the request to the Board and a few weeks later we received positive feedback: The construction of a climbing frame was granted, a suitable location was found and a structure designed. Some months later the jungle gym was in fact assembled and we, the Grade 6s, were allowed officially to open the play park. This was a magnificent experience and an outstanding example of involvement of learners at the DSJ – a successful campaign in the context of democracy training.
These days many enthusiastic learners can be observed playing on this climbing frame.
Grade 6b and Cornelia Bökamp