Story: Childhood

Children playing at Thorndon School, around 1953

Children playing at Thorndon School, around 1953

Schools provide children with opportunities for play as well as learning. At first school playtime was largely unsupervised, but by the end of the 19th century teachers watched over the playground. Equipment like climbing frames, swings and slides kept groups of children together, but they were still able to express themselves freely. These children from Thorndon School in Wellington are playing on a jungle gym. The photographer has caught a moment of action as they spill from the frame and race out of shot – perhaps the bell has rung to end playtime.

Using this item

Alexander Turnbull Library, Thorndon School Collection (PAColl-1867)
Reference: 1/2-169878-F

Permission of the Alexander Turnbull Library, National Library of New Zealand, Te Puna Mātauranga o Aotearoa, must be obtained before any re-use of this image.

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How to cite this page:

Kerryn Pollock, 'Childhood - Play and recreation', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 18 July 2024)

Story by Kerryn Pollock, published 5 May 2011, reviewed & revised 12 Dec 2018