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Home  >  Features  >  Looking Back: A Summer Play School

Looking Back: October 1945



A New Experiment by the Youth Committee


OWING to the war many children were unable to go away for holidays this year, and, without the regular occupation and discipline of school, they might during the summer months have been apt to drift about the street, bored and ripe for any mischief. To meet these conditions the experiment of having a play school for them was tried by the Youth Committee.

The school was held in connection with Carrick Knowe Church, in one of Edinburgh’s new areas, and was open for two hours three times a week. It was welcomed by the mothers of the district, who knew their children were in good hands; and the children themselves responded eagerly. The success of the experiment was such that it is hoped to repeat it next year and possibly extend it to other areas.

The idea of the school was education through play, and on fine days part of the time was spent in organized games in the park, and part in folk dancing, handicrafts and model-making. A model housing scheme was carried out, showing in addition to the homes a church, a post office, a hospital and a school. This served to introduce into the minds of the children the first ideas of the community in which they live.

Nature study was also a favourite subject, the boys and girls being taught to observe the beauties of nature by learning about birds, trees and followers.

The acting of a Biblical play was interesting in showing the development of the children. The play was taken straight from the Bible and was the story of the man born blind. The children enjoyed acting, and by the end of the school had improved considerably and showed much greater spontaneity.

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