Through a range of authentic contexts we provide students with opportunities to explore and discover the world around them using their own passions and motivations. Students are encouraged to ask deep questions, research their findings, collaborate with others, discuss in depth and present their ideas to others using a range of equipment, resources and approaches.
Students begin their early years discovering about the world around them through play as a context, they then move in to Discovery Time which leads them to question and wonder about the world in which they live. They then move into STEAM activities using Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Maths as a context and then move to Makerspace where students pose their own problems and questions to explore and use many forums to develop and deliver their findings.
Learning through Play supports the development of several values and key competencies identified in our National Curriculum that we strive to teach our children; these include innovation, inquiry, curiosity, respect, critical thinking, managing self, relating to others, participation and contributing. Almost all of these can be developed through play-based activities.
Our approach to Learning Through Play is based around research from Longworth Education which includes the following principles:
We believe that learning unfolds naturally as children interact with the world around them (Longworth Education Philosophy)
See : The Power of Play and “Play in the Classroom” for further research.
Play is an important approach for 3 – 7 year olds. As well as encouraging children to think creatively, develop their imagination, explore, invent, develop critical thinking, manage themselves, negotiate and work in groups, children become intrinsically motivated through a Learning through play approach. A Learning through Play approach makes the transition to school easier for children, parents and teachers in their first year, less stressful, and allows the teacher to get to know the learner in an environment where they are at ease.
An environment is set up both within and outside the classroom that encourages the different types of play such as fantasy play. For example, a role play area that follows the interests of the children like a rocket ship for space adventures, or a construction area where the children might want to make a rocket. Teachers provide provocations to cater for all developmental stages of play. They also have an active role as a coach, and assist the children with their learning by giving them constructive feedback and using questioning to extend their play.
Parents are able to share what is happening during Learning Through Play via our Seesaw blog.
Not an exhaustive list
Variety of balls and bats
Playground equipment e.g. monkey bars
Fine motor resources - threading, lacing, weaving, cutting
Role Play Equipment
Sandpit Shop Kitchen
Role play costumes and accessories
Role play areas
Junk modelling boxes, joining materials e.g. sellotape, PVA, stapler
Construction equipment e.g. wooden blocks, mobilo, duplo
Malleable Materials / Messy Play