Never too old: Why this high school put in a playground
IT'S A technology-free zone where kids can be free to be kids.
And it's also a legacy left behind by Maryborough State High School's senior students.
Principal Simon Done said the Year 12 students traditionally worked on a legacy project to leave a mark on their school after they graduated.
"They started looking at the idea of having an area at school where kids could be offline and have conversations and do things without technology involved," Mr Done said.
At the same time, with 11 and 12 year olds now in the high school system, the suggestion was made that play equipment might be introduced on the school grounds.
The two ideas came together perfectly, Mr Done said, but there were concerns at first.
The idea of having a playground at a high school was a unique concept, he said.
"We found some funds, the student council assisted with that.
"The students sat down with the teachers and designed what they wanted.
"We realised we just put a playground into a high school and held our breaths."
But the playground area had proven as popular among the senior students as those in junior years, Mr Done said.
He said it was great to see 15-year-old boys using the equipment as much as the younger students.
"It's been fun for all ages, we're actually looking at phase two," he said.
"It gives a way for students to decompress, not be on their mobile phones and to be active at lunch time."
Mr Done said he was proud of the students' initiative.
He said they had spoken about the role of digital technology in society and how to ensure there was a balance.
"It has a place, but it's not something that students need to be on all the time," he said.