Our play framework

Our play philosophy is underpinned by The Playwork Principles and Play Types

At Class Of Their Own our primary aim is for the children in our care to have fun and to engage in a wide variety of play experiences. We thought it would be of interest to parents to gain an understanding of what we do at the club and how we differ from school.

Here is some information about play, the Playwork Principles we adhere to and information about the types of play your child will engage in when they are at the club.

Why is it important to play?

It is a universal and natural process and it is as vital to a child’s growth and development as nutrition, shelter and education.

  • Through play children learn (through experimentation) about themselves , the people around them and their physical environment
  • They need to discover and make sense of their world in order to survive it
  • They need to develop social, physical, intellectual skills and knowledge
  • Children use their natural curiosity and respond intuitively to what is happening around them
  • Play is pleasurable for children (and adults) because it allows them to release physical and emotional energy

Playwork Principles

These Principles establish the professional and ethical framework for Playwork and as such must be regarded as a whole.

They describe what is unique about play and Playwork, and provide the Playwork perspective for working with children and young people.

They are based on the recognition that children and young people’s capacity for positive development will be enhanced if given access to the broadest range of environments and play opportunities.

1. All children and young people need to play. The impulse to play is innate. Play is a biological, psychological and social necessity, and is fundamental to the healthy development and well being of individuals and communities.

2. Play is a process that is freely chosen, personally directed and intrinsically motivated. That is, children and young people determine and control the content and intent of their play, by following their own instincts, ideas and interests, in their own way for their own reasons.

3. The prime focus and essence of playwork is to support and facilitate the play process and this should inform the development of play policy, strategy, training and education.

4. For playworkers, the play process takes precedence and playworkers act as advocates for play when engaging with adult led agendas.

5. The role of the playworker is to support all children and young people in the creation of a space in which they can play.

6. The playworker’s response to children and young people playing is based on a sound up to date knowledge of the play process, and reflective practice.

7. Playworkers recognise their own impact on the play space and also the impact of children and young people’s play on the playworker.

8. Playworkers choose an intervention style that enables children and young people to extend their play. All playworker intervention must balance risk with the developmental benefit and well being of children.

Play Types

These are sixteen different types of play and at Class Of Their Own we endeavour to include all types into our weekly programme. We do this by setting up activities or equipment or resources and then the children can see where they want to take it.


Play which allows control, gradual exploration through using symbols objects, designs or signs to represent people ideas or qualities. For example using a piece of rope to define a boundary, a hairbrush to symbolise a microphone.


This is working things out for yourself through exploration, whether it be taking a camera to pieces or stacking bricks. The fascination is what I can do with this and/or what I can make it do.


Playing with a particular object using hand-eye co-ordination and exploring how it can be used and played with.


This is close encounter play which is less to do with fighting and more to do with touching, tickling, gauging strength, discovering flexibility and the exhilaration of display. This is demonstrated in Play Fighting, wrestling and chasing with body contact.


This is play where the rules for social interaction can be revealed and explored. This is where a social interaction contains expectations on all parties and that everyone will abide by the rules, this could be a game, conversation or making something together.


This is play with words, gestures and nuances, for example jokes, taking the mickey, poetry. The emphasis is on the message.


This is where a child enjoys creating with a range of materials and tools for the sake of enjoying it and the process of being creative and having freedom to express themselves creatively not necessarily aiming for the end result. This is through arts/crafts/drama/music.


This is play which allows the child to encounter risky or even potentially life threatening experiences, to develop survival skills and conquer fear. This may be going on a zip wire, walking along a high wall. Anyone who has done an abseil or a bungy jump will know that feeling of fear before you leap off but also know how exhilarating and great it feels when you arrive safely at the bottom and you get the ‘Yes, I’ve done it!’ The child makes their own risk assessment and what the child perceives as the the level of risk will be different from child to child.


This is where the child steps out of the world they know and pretend to be someone or something else, doing amazing and fantastic things, for example being Spiderman or flying a spaceship.


This is where conventional rules that govern the physical world do not apply but is still based on reality. For example imagining and pretending to be a tree, or an animal or having an invisible friend.


This is taking on a role or way of being, for example dialling a telephone, sweeping up with a broom, driving a car, this is usually an activity or role that hasn’t been experienced by the child.


This is movement in any and every direction for it’s own sake, for example tag, hide and seek, tree climbing.


This is the child controlling the physical ingredients of the natural environment. For example digging holes in earth or sand, building fires, constructing shelters.


This is play that displays aspects of human evolutionary history, stored and passed on through our genes and manifested when children play spontaneously. For example lighting fires, engaging in spontaneous rituals and songs, dressing up in clothes and role-playing, playing wars and making weapons and creating languages.


This type of play is about acting out roles, re-creating scenes from others’ lives or TV shows or events. It is often done for an audience and children often use make up and costumes in this type of play.


This is enactment of real and potential experiences of an intense personal, social, domestic or interpersonal nature. Examples include playing house, going to the shops or going to a restaurant.