|Free time at school involves chatting with friends, playing games, sharing crazes and joining organised activities and clubs. Over the years it is amazing how some games and pastimes reoccur (e.g. marbles, skipping) and yet there are also plenty of crazes that come as fast as they go, never to return (e.g. Pogs, clackers).
At this time there were 40 girls in the School's own Girl Guide company. The boys were in the School Cadet Corps.
Miss Button remembers that during wet weather ballroom dancing was allowed in the hall but only for the girls. Alan Sanders reclls playing hopscotch (boys and girls - but not together), whip and top and of course conkers. There were various tricks for hardening your conker so that it was particulalry efective in smashing other peole's conkers - one method was to bake it in th oven.
Jim Skipper remembers children playing conkers and marble. There was also a place to spot trains on the L.M.S. railway line. During wet weather, Jim also recalls the dancing at lunchtime in the school hall: the boys were only allowed in if they took part - there was no sitting and just looking. In the summer months the tennis courts were always in use.
Ron Goodwin recalls two playtimes, one in the morning one in the afternoon. Most pupils walked around the playing fields the boys played football or French cricket.
Peter Goodwin remembers that boys and girls stood around chatting among themselves in separate groups.
Tracy Greys remembers playing hopscotch, skipping, chanting, 'stuck in the mud', two balls against the wall (near the dining hall) and in the summer they were allowed onto the playing fields. There was a gym club at lunchtime.
The boys and girls had alternate weeks on the five-aside area.
Louise Gaynor reports that playtime was at 10.30. Some play equipment was provided such as skipping ropes and footballs. Children also played marbles and elastic. Children would take turns playing on the five-a-side court and in summer they would eat lunch on the grass.
Some playground equipment was provided in the nineties and onwards skipping ropes and balls for football. Marbles and elastic skipping were popular.
Later on in the nineties as well as the usual crazes for marbles and conkers, there were phases of gogos and pogs. Gogos were small plastic figures with which two opponents did battle. Two people would get equal amounts of figures. One person would line up their gogos, their opponent would then try to knock down the lined up gogos. They would continue to throw a single gogo at the line until they had all been knocked over. The winner being the first one to knock over all the opponents figures.
Nicola Scott can remember playing Pogs which were round card discs usually with a picture on one side, some of these discs became collectors items due to the rarity of the pictures. The game consisted of two players who had equal amounts of pogs which had been mixed and stacked in a pile. One pog was flipped to see who would go first. The object of the game was to overturn your opponents pogs with a larger pog , usually made of plastic, If the pile of pogs was hit by the larger pog , the discs which were flipped over on their backs became the property of the other player. If pogs landed on their backs (i.e.. no picture showing) they were restacked and it became the turn of the second player to knock down their opponents pogs.
There was also a craze of Pokemon cards which were collectable cards which could be swopped with others to gain the most rare or valuable cards. This craze was banned at Bushfield because it was distracting for children when in the classroom and because the cards had some significant monetary value, their currency meant that they could be a temptation for the light-fingered.
In 1999 the lunch hour was reorganised to split the upper and lower school. This reduced some of the conflicts that seem to arise in this period of the day. New playground equipment was installed and a quiet room was introduced where children could play board games, read or talk together.