School of Play was founded in 2020 by Ryan Harris & Sophie Wolfendale.
“Our story began over 10 years ago when we first worked together in a local kids club. We developed a tremendous connection that stemmed from having a passion for working with children.
In 2016, I set up our coaching/sister company School of Sport, whilst Sophie gave birth and became a working mum.
After coaching sport in primary schools for several years, both myself and Sophie noticed the need for a high-quality wraparound childcare provider that would have a real focus around the team of people providing the care, as well as offer provision that would be engaging and enriching.
We both share the same values that guide the organisation and continuously ensure the whole team are buying into our ethos of over-delivering. These values provide a framework for decision making and are integrated into every area of the company.”
Our People First Approach
“We operate a people-first approach and we believe loving your job is a right, not a privilege. Our team are at the heart of what we do, and we understand the quality of our colleagues has the greatest impact on the quality of our care. It is our job to look after our people to a high standard, and in return, they will look after the children the same way.
Our work culture is an aspect of our company that we feel very proud of. As our organisation has progressed, we have watched our team create wonderful workplace friendships that benefit the consistent communication between colleagues and their willingness to work hard together, which benefits our team as a whole and aids in the personal growth and development of the individual.”
January – Turning Our Idea Into A Reality
Following a successful year operating our School of Sport holiday club at Urmston Primary School, our founders Ryan and Sophie approached the school about offering a wraparound care service at the premises. It had been an idea of theirs for several years, and Urmston Primary School seemed the perfect location to begin their venture.
May – What To Call It?
On a sunny day in May at a cafe in Manchester, Ryan and Sophie put the plans in place to open in January 2020. Believe it or not, School of Play was initially called The 5.45 Club. We are glad they decided against it!
October – Ofsted
After a long few months of putting their plans into action, we had to pass our Ofsted pre-inspection before we could officially open.