Are breaktimes really just a time of violence and bullying that could be better used for working? Based on a unique and fascinating longitudinal study of a group of pupils from primary to secondary school, the author of this timely new book proposes an alternative view. He believes that breaktime plays an important part in children's social development, and through his gathering of pupil's own views on breaktimes over a period of ten years, we see how breaktimes offer children time to play; to develop friendships; to build social networks; to develop social skills and competence; to be independent from adults; and to learn to manage conflict, aggression and inter-group relations. Where else will they learn these important skills if not in the playground? What will happen in a society where these skills are not developed?