The Friends' School

Message from the Director

If you visited Friends’ Early Years recently we hope you were shocked by the mess! The good kind of mess, that is.

We hope you saw a mat with a partially built tower abandoned halfway through its construction, dress-up costumes discarded near the door and overturned buckets of pine cones or similar scattered across the floor. We trust you were surprised by just how much of the outside had found its way in and how much of the inside had found its way out.

We hope you were forced to jump over children huddled together on the carpet or dodge a flying ball as you walked out into our garden.

We hope you saw children drawing with chalk all over our lovely paths and were surprised to find that we didn’t say ‘no’ to the little girl who plucked one of our flowers!

Oh, and if you did enter our building in a lovely business suit, we hope that the bright red paint that brushed off the picture you passed came off in the wash!

We hope all of these things because Friends’ Early Years is passionate about the importance of play. You see, play is how young children learn. Play is how, when you were young, you learned. So, Friends’ Early Years is proud to proclaim that we are an outstanding provider of play-based learning in all its many forms.

We do physical play. We do play with objects. We do symbolic play. We do pretence/socio-dramatic play. We play games with rules. We play in mud. We play in water. We play in wind. We play in rain. We also do something else – we give children the time and space to play.

So, we implore you, do not be in a hurry for your child to grow up, push them in a frenzied haste into formal schooling, denounce play as a waste of your child’s time or view Friends’ Early Years as nothing more than a glorified babysitting facility.

As Fred Rogers states, ‘Play is often talked about as if it were a relief from serious learning. But for children, play is serious learning.’

As you walk past our centre, please consider this – that boy you glimpse over our fence playing with a doll might just become a father one day, so don’t interrupt him, he’s learning.

Mark Seager
Director, Friends’ Early Years

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