Our play framework

Our play philosophy is underpinned by The Play Work 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 are 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.

What is play?

The most recognised definition of play within the Playwork field is:

Play is freely chosen, personally directed, intrinsically motivated.

Bob Hughes

Play is very hard to define but easy to recognise.  The most important thing is that play is freely chosen. The children are engaged in the activity because they want to be and they are directing their own behaviour. Adults may encourage children to play, but no-one can make them do it.

If you think back to a play situation when you were a child and remember a time when you were playing with friends or siblings, the chances are that the experiences you will remember will be the times when there was an element of risk and excitement, whether it be climbing a tree and getting stuck up it, playing hide and seek in woods, setting up a swing with a tyre and rope and then experiencing the thrill of the risk that you might fall off.

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

Play is not merely a way of passing time, a leisure activity, as many people see it – it is the way in which children learn about life.

The benefits are that every time a child plays they are discovering something new. Play is crucial to a child, it is through play alongside education that children will develop to their full potential – socially, physically, intellectually, creatively, culturally and emotionally. Play allows children to learn through first hand experience, by doing they gain understanding.

Through play children learn what no one else can teach them

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.

SYMBOLIC PLAY

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.

EXPLORATORY PLAY

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.

OBJECT PLAY

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

ROUGH AND TUMBLE PLAY

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.

SOCIAL PLAY

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.

COMMUNICATION PLAY

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

CREATIVE PLAY

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.

DEEP PLAY (OR RISKY PLAY)

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.

FANTASY PLAY

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.

IMAGINATIVE PLAY

This is where conventional rule 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.

ROLE PLAY

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.

LOCOMOTOR PLAY

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

MASTERY PLAY

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

RECAPITULATIVE PLAY

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.

Return to About Us page