People who help us: The Police

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By Sue Marshallwho has an Honours Degree in Early Childhood Studies, has been headteacher of a Nursery School for 19 years, and was an Ofsted Inspector. She is also the founder of Early Vision, a company that produces learning resources to support role play in the classroom. Sue is a firm believer in bringing ‘the real world’ into the classroom. As children’s knowledge of the real world increases, it will underpin and strengthen their own imaginative play.

A complete role-play kit providing scenarios, a poster and activity sheets to help children experience life in the modern day police force

Children police

The following pages provide four scenarios that will help children explore and understand some of the many roles performed by the police force. Each scenario can be supported by the images on the poster and the linking activity sheet activity sheets (see linked resources below).

Each scenario is divided into the following:

  • Starting points – questions and issues to discuss with the children. Use this opportunity to find out what the children already know. Try to discover where these ideas have come from (firsthand experience, news reports, fictional television shows and so on) and discuss any potential misconceptions. Use a flipchart to mind-map their ideas and add to this as the role play develops.
  • Roles – each scenario lends itself to certain roles. The number of these can easily be adapted depending on the number of the children in each group. Each scenario also provides a number of very active roles for confident children, and supporting roles for children who may not feel comfortable taking the centre stage.
  • The role play – a suggested step-by-step scenario for the children to act out. When presented with scenarios, encourage children to hold a little ‘pow wow’ to plan and cast themselves before they play. Role play so often fails to succeed or develop because no one knows either the role they are taking or who anyone else is meant to be! The scenarios provide a suggested sequence – some, none, or all of these events can be featured. Prompt the children only when necessary, allowing them where possible to develop their role play independently.
  • Support activities – delve deeper into issues raised from the role play through games and hands-on activities.
  • Reflection – allow time for the children to discuss the scenario from the point of view of the Police and their role, but also how the issues raised impact on their own daily lives.

Making use of multimedia

Early Vision Logo

Early Vision produce a Theme Pack on the police that contains a video of real-life fi lm clips, fact sheets, resource plans, teachers’ notes and activity ideas. For more information, tel 0845 330 3186 or visit

1. At the station

Starting points

  • Why do we need police stations?
  • Why do people go to a police station?
  • Who works there?
  • What do they do?
  • What do they wear and why?
  • What hours do they work?
  • What does a police station look like?
  • How do we find or call a police station?
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