Primary school encourages children to play with knives, hammers and FIRE to toughen them up and melt generation snowflake

As health and safety rules have gone into overdrive in recent years, this Essex nursery and primary school – which caters for kids age three to 11 – has bucked the trend.

The Richmond Avenue Primary and Nursery School built a playground full of bricks, hammers and tools four years ago in an effort to try to thaw generation snowflake and better prepare them for life.

The head, Debbie Hughes, believes that risk-free play areas churn out rule followers and she says these kind of people are unlikely to be rewarded in future.

She told the Sun Online: "Within this environment the areas are designed to allow children to 'have a go', to solve problems and be allowed to investigate the world around them.

"This approach helps to prepare the children not just for the physical 'rough and tumble' but the mental fortitude needed to handle the twists and turns life may throw at them.

"In this fast paced and ever changing world we have no idea what the future will bring, so we are allowing the children to develop resilience."

Children exposed to some element of risk are able to cope better in tough situations, say experts.

It has also been found to leave kids happier and with more friends.

Leah Morris, who managed the youngest pupils, told the New York Times: "We have fires, we use knives, saws, different tools."

Instead of the standard plastic play equipment, the kids get stuck into mud pits and play with tire swings.

They are supervised while using the traditionally more dangerous items, but quickly learn to be careful, Ms Morris said.

In a backlash against the importance placed on safety within schools worldwide a New Zealand university asked eight schools to increase elements of risk within their playground.

Following the experiment, the children in those schools said they felt happier while in the classroom.

Amanda Spielman, chief inspector of Ofsted, has said: "Inspections will creep into being a bit more risk-averse unless we explicitly train them to get a more sophisticated understanding of the balance between benefits and risk, and stand back, and say ‘it’s O. to have some risk of children falling over and bashing into things'.

"That's not the same as being reckless and sending a 2-year-old to walk on the edge of a 200-foot cliff unaccompanied."

She dubbed safety measure such as forcing kids to wear high-vis jackets on school trips as "simply barmy".

And in London's Princess Diana Playground in Kensington Gardens, risk has been thought out and encouraged.

A plaque outside the popular garden tells visitors risk has been "intentionally provided, so that your child can develop an appreciation of risk in a controlled play environment rather than taking similar risks in an uncontrolled and unregulated wider world".

Last month we reported on Good Morning Britain presenter Piers Morgan locking horns with a headteacher who banned students from touching snow.

A heated debate ensued between the pair after Ges Smith stressed it was all down to “health and safety”.

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