Paul Dowsett

Paul Dowsett


I started at Barnes Summer Play School in 2014 and worked with Yvonne and her fantastic team. The summer school and activity camp has gone from strength to strength and flourished over the years and I am proud to be the principal. My own son and other family members all contributed to the success of this family run business which we all absolutely cherish and enjoy. The team who work at BSPS have pretty much grown up with the school, Extraordinary! Now that’s what I call Organic!

The team members are reliable and hardworking and return most years with a gap year or two in between with most of them going on to become teachers and/or working in education and social care. I now have a team of fully qualified nursery teachers, primary School teachers and fantastic young people looking after the children whilst at the Barnes Summer Play School and our fantastic Barnes Adventure Camp.

Yvonne Wake

Yvonne Wake


Yvonne : I sometimes have to pinch myself and often wonder how a little annoying moment on Barnes common over 30 years ago could turn into what the school is today. I was basically feeding the ducks with my two children and newly pregnant with my third, and it just got to me that there was nowhere fun and interesting and safe for my children to attend all day in the summer months. I made enquiries, checked it all out and the BSPS plan was plotted! My family and I have all worked at Barnes Summer Play School (BSPS) and I am happy to be supporting Paul and his team as it moves forward with regards to outstanding child care during the summer months. 

Our Aims & Objectives

The obvious theme that runs through the school is that all children have enormous fun and enjoy being children! Our aim is to bring out a child’s individuality and support that with creative and artistic play. There is a firm structure to each day, and we encourage good discipline.

Communication and interaction is very important between staff and children. We aim to give the children a full day with interesting creative projects as well as the possibility to just sit and have calm reading moments whenever they feel the need. We encourage sharing and helping each other. We listen to the children and try to give them what they need at that time. We support the children in their need to express themselves; especially if they are particularly artistic. We expect good manners and kindness to each other and will help children to achieve this by talking them through it if they are not accustomed to it.

We believe that Barnes Summer Play School and Barnes Adventure Camp work very hard to achieve the good reputation that it holds in the Richmond Borough.

We are always prepared to improve and learn more about the children we see each year. We are very happy to integrate children from all walks of life and our summer camp and policy expresses that. We work on the premise that children are our future and as teachers/carers/parents it is important to us to make them feel special, loved and cared for during the time that they spend with us.

We take full advantage of Barnes Common and our enclosed courtyard, and try to do as many outdoor activities on all good weather days, although a simple picnic on Barnes common can be just as much fun as playing in the sand.

We concentrate on the children and their individual needs, we respect them and actively encourage them to have fun and make the most of their time with us. We believe in fun, laughter, listening to them, talking to them, creating with them, allowing them their space, giving them calm and relaxing times as well as energetic fun and exercise time.

At Barnes Summer Play School and Big Top Adventures we look at the world through the eyes of your children and it not only brings them enormous pleasure, but it also brings pleasure to you the parents/carers, and of course to us the teachers.

3-7 yrs Barnes Summer Play School

8-14 yrs Barnes Adventure Camp