Positive Play support programme

The Positive Play is a support programme for children and young people.


Positive Play takes place on the multi-million pound campus of Sharley Park Community Primary School in Danesmoor. We have a Rainbow Room, a Magic Room, an office and a loaning library.

The programme offers extra help for children and young people in one-to-one sessions through structured activities in a sensory environment.

The Positive Play support programme can help children feel special, help them to express and communicate their feelings, feel good about themselves, raise their self-esteem, and improve their social skills in a reliable, safe and supportive environment.

Positive Play aims to:

  • allow young people a space to express and communicate feelings and difficulties in their lives, through a variety of media in constructive rather than aggressive ways and in a safe non-threatening environment
  • help young people feel good about themselves, and raise self-esteem by providing activities that look at their strengths and by valuing what they do and making it special
  • provide a non-authoritarian, supportive, reliable, safe, unconditional relationship within the school and other settings
  • provide some of the early experiences that might (may) have been missed but which are necessary for formal education and social interaction
  • help young people acquire the complex range of life skills needed to achieve their full potential.

The programme has been evaluated by Sheffield Hallam University and found to be an effective early intervention tool in supporting children, raising their self-esteem, enabling them to access the curriculum, and so achieve their potential.

Ofsted defined the Positive Play support programme as 'An early intervention tool, reducing disaffection and encouraging inclusive education'.

Training is available for Derbyshire schools/settings and childcare providers to allow staff to give sessions themselves.

The pioneering programme is so successful we've shared it with schools in Norfolk, Swansea, Melton Mowbray, Rotherham and Doncaster.

The programme is lead by Pam Swanwick, a retired headteacher, who is now the Positive Play support programme consultant, and Sharon Urben, who is the manager.

For more information tel: 01246 862854 or email: positive.play@derbyshire.gov.uk.

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