'Children should be allowed to play with fire to make them more risk-averse'

'Children need to be exposed to risk to make them independent and resilient'

The school doesn't have a traditional playground like this

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

One of the architects of a scheme which allows children to play with fire and hammers has said it's all about providing them with better life skills.

Leah Morris is early years manager at the Richmond Avenue Primary and Nursery School in Essex, which also allows children to play with bricks and a range of other tools.

The scheme has come in for plenty of criticism, but Morris told talkRADIO it's all about putting children into risky environments to give them independence, resilience and problem solving-skills. 

Morris, the early years manager at the school, told Mike Graham and Rachel Johnson the school is "more risk-healthy" as a result of the scheme. She explained: "We brought in the logs, the crates, the planks, inside you have sellotape dispensers, hole punchers, staplers, knives to butter your bread.

"Things that children use in everyday life that they can now use in a classroom. That gives them the independence, the opportunities to problem-solve, to have resilience, to persevere.

"We’ve had our setting like this for about three years now and as [pupils are] going through the school, the teachers that are coming up do say that the children are ready to learn."

She explained dens and fire are created "in a very supervised area on our site it isn’t in our playground."

However, "we’ve had no other injuries that you would have got five years ago where they trip over on a playground" and "we have had a couple of people scratch their finger on a sellotape dispenser."

Listen to the full interview above