A SCHOOL has replaced plastic playhouses in its playground with bricks, saws and benches in an innovative measure to help children understand dangers and risks.

Richmond Avenue Primary and Nursery School, based in Richmond Avenue, Shoebury, has also introduced a mud pit and even a rope swing into the children’s free time.

According to staff at the school, it is all about bringing in risk to everyday life for children while they are supervised.

Parents and residents across south Essex have praised the innovative scheme on social media, saying the school has made the right decision.

Leanne Taylor, from Basildon, said: “I think it’s about time children are encouraged to learn how to play safely.

“When I was a child we never heard of all this health and safety. I think people now need to let their children grow up as responsible adults and not grow up removing all things that may harm them.

“I was brought up in 1970s and we all survived.”

Andy Wilkins, from Leigh, said: “I also feel that children should be taught that life is not a fairy tale as such and even the playground can be dangerous instead of a safe haven.”

The school brought in the new playground after staff looked critically around its campus and decided to bring in some risk.

Children are also allowed to have fires and knives, according to the article in the New York Times.

Councillor James Courtenay, responsible for children and learning, said: “These sort of things have to be very carefully monitored and reviewed on a case by case basis. At first glance it sounds really scary but where better for kids to learn about risks than at school?

“It’s getting that balance right and it sounds like a really good, innovative approach. School is about preparing pupils for the big wide world and choosing to take risks.”

No-one from the school was available for comment.