Tamariki School

Policy on mess







For children in this age group a degree of mess promotes creativity and learning.



1.  To provide an environment which encourages children to perceive the possibilities for combining and recombining its elements in fresh and creative ways.

2.  To provide an environment in which activities may be carried through to their natural conclusion and not arbitrarily interrupted by adult demands for cleaning up.

3.  To provide an environment in which children have the opportunity to directly experience their own personal points of frustration at which mess becomes counterproductive.  



1.  The environment should be as homelike as possible.

2.  Limits and procedures for dealing with mess should be established in whole school meetings.

3.  Children (and adults) should be helped to understand the difference between health-threatening dirtiness and mess.

4.  Children should be encouraged to clear up when their activity is genuinely finished and adult help provided when required.

5.  If an area is left so untidy that it is uncleanable it should be declared a no go area by cleaner, staff or children until it has been tidied in a process decided in a whole school meeting.

6.  Health and safety should not be compromised and such hazards as sharp bits of metal, wood or glass, nails in wood, or food scraps inside, should be cleaned up immediately. It is appropriate in these circumstances to bring these to children's attention and to require them to do something about it.

7.  As wide as possible a range of materials for creative play should be provided, despite the possibilities for mess these bring, and children should be encouraged to explore their potential.



Since at school it has been observed repeatedly that some children's imaginations work best in a degree of disorder, adults should be very wary of demanding order in areas in which they are not personally and immediately affected.


Reviewed and Adopted: September 2018

Next Review Date: September 2023

This page was last modified on: 30 Sep 2018 19:25:12