Presentation is loading. Please wait.

Presentation is loading. Please wait.

~ Learning Through Play ~

Similar presentations

Presentation on theme: "~ Learning Through Play ~"— Presentation transcript:

1 ~ Learning Through Play ~
The Foundation Stage Curriculum ~ Learning Through Play ~ Building Together In The Foundation Stage This introductory session aims to provide basic information about the content and aims of the Foundation Stage curriculum within the wider context of the NI Primary Curriculum (2007). An overview is provided of the areas of learning within the Foundation Stage, but more detail is provided in each of the subsequent six sessions which deal specifically with individual curricular areas. This introductory session seeks to present a rationale for the emphasis on learning through play in the early years through presentation and practical workshop. The session could be adapted for use at any time during the Foundation Stage, but will be most useful as part of a P1 induction programme or during the first term of P1. Extracts from the DVD ‘The Revised NI Curriculum Planning for Implementation’ distributed by GTCNI to all teachers could also be viewed in this session, e.g. introduction to the Revised Curriculum or the Foundation Stage sections. Presenters will find it useful to refer to the to the NI Curriculum Primary 2007, the materials provided in the regional professional development programme for Foundation Stage teachers and ‘Understanding the Foundation Stage’ (CCEA 2006). It may also be useful to be familiar with some of the research carried out on the Enriched Curriculum Pilot. Most of these materials are available on-line at CASS Early Years Team Building Together in the Foundation Stage Information for Parents/Carers

2 Aims for the Session To provide information on the Foundation Stage Curriculum To enrich understanding of how children learn through play To advise parents/carers of ways to support children’s learning through play at home Parents should be informed that this introductory session seeks to provide an overview of the Foundation Stage curriculum focusing on play as the primary means of learning in early childhood. NEELB Early Years Team 2007

3 What kind of memories of play do you have of your own childhood?
Why do children spend so much time playing in their early years at school? Warm up activity for parents/carers… Encourage parents to share their childhood memories of play. (It may be useful to have prepared some of your own childhood memories to share should feedback be slow!) During feedback emphasise the sense of freedom and space often expressed – the lack of adult supervision – the common theme of playing with peers (mixed age) – the adventurous play/risk taking – the outdoor environment as a major arena for play – the lack of expensive toys/computers, game boys, etc! It is also important to highlight the notion of play as an important element of adult life, e.g. in sport, hobbies, games, music, etc. Discuss parent/carers’ perceptions of why a play-based learning approach has been adopted in almost all countries for children under 7… why do children spend so much time playing in school? What kind of memories of play do you have of your own childhood? Do you still ‘play’ now? NEELB Early Years Team 2007

4 The Foundations of Learning
All P1 teachers were given a copy of the introductory chapter of Julie Fisher’s book ‘The Foundations of Learning’ written by an architect Adrian Cooper. This article compares the process of building foundations structurally with the importance of establishing firm foundations for children’s learning. Some of the key points to highlight are: Foundations take longer to create than buildings. The higher the building, the firmer the foundations have to be. If foundations are inadequate, it is very expensive to underpin them later on.

5 Foundation Stage Curriculum Key Features
Developmentally-appropriate provision Child-centred approach – focus on children’s social and emotional development Experiential/play-based learning Emphasis on oral activities Creativity celebrated Physical activities ~ structured & regular (See ‘Understanding the Foundation Stage’ pgs 3-5 for detailed characteristics, aims and principles of Foundation Stage). The Foundation Stage curriculum is developmentally-appropriate, i.e. a curriculum which has been designed to best meet the particular needs of young children in the 4-6 age range. We know more now than we have ever known before about how children learn, about child development, about how the human brain develops and the importance of this age and stage in having specific types of learning experiences. Learning needs to be appropriate to each child’s stage of development with the recognition that children develop at different rates. It is thus in essence a child-centred approach – enabling a flexible programme in which individual needs can be more appropriately met. There will be an ethos and explicit teaching which will seek to develop children’s confidence, self-esteem and independence. The key teaching and learning tool is play – a child’s work! It is through play that children learn best – more on this in the workshop! The approach also acknowledges that children learn about all areas of the curriculum primarily through oral language. Through language children are able to communicate, to express their own thoughts, ideas and feelings, to ask and answer questions, and to clarify thinking. Talking and listening are thus at the hub of the children’s experiences. Employers have been lamenting at the lack of creative thinkers coming into the workplace in the UK for the last few decades. Children will only think creatively/laterally if they have been immersed in a whole school culture which celebrates and nurtures creativity. Children in the Foundation Stage will therefore be encouraged to explore, experiment, investigate, and pose open ended questions and problems which supports children in taking risks in their learning. The importance of regular and structured physical activities at this stage is essential in ensuring the development of children’s physical skills in terms of balance, co-ordination, gross, loco and fine motor skills and muscle tone. There are also well-established links between certain types of physical movement and networking of neurons in the brain – parents may have heard of programmes such as brain gym which have built on this research. NEELB Early Years Team 2007

6 Assessment in the Foundation Stage
Emphasis on ‘Assessment for Learning’ ~ ‘Plan – Do – Review ~ Observation Use of pupil profile Reporting to parents The approach to assessment in all sectors within the Revised Curriculum is on ‘Assessment for Learning’. This focuses on the key purpose of assessment being assessment which provides information for teaching staff to enable them to move children on in their learning. The children are fully involved in the teaching and learning process and are encouraged to take more control of/responsibility for their own learning. There is also an emphasis on making the learning more explicit and transparent, so that the children are aware of what they are learning and why, and on encouraging children to make meaningful connections in their learning, thus facilitating more effective transfer of skills. In the early years, much of this is built around the ‘plan – do – review’ cycle, in which: staff use assessment knowledge of the child to inform the planning process and, where appropriate, to involve children in that process. This may involve sharing learning intentions (what will I learn), success criteria (how will I know if I succeed in that learning) and individual target setting with children. Children are involved actively in the learning situation, with staff supporting them through positive open relationships and dialogue about learning, providing feedback/advice on how to improve and encouraging children to take risks in their learning – ‘have a go’! Children are also encouraged to ‘review’ their learning journey, perhaps individually, at times in groups or as a whole class plenary session at the end of a lesson. The review focus supports children through positive reinfocement to celebrate success and to reflect on their own learning and that of their peers. A statutory pupil profile will be completed and shared with parents towards the end of the Foundation Stage. This summarises the pupils progress in learning in key areas throughout the Foundation Stage and will help form the basis for planning future learning as the child moves into KS1. The facilitator may detail here their own school’s approach to reporting to parents, e.g. if/when written reports are shared with parents and parent/teacher interviews take place. NEELB Early Years Team 2007

7 Thinking Skills & Personal Capabilities
Managing Information Thinking, problem-solving and decision-making Being creative Working with others; co-operating and collaborating Self-management; taking responsibility for own learning It will be useful to be familiar with the contents of the CCEA ‘Thinking Skills and Personal Capabilities’ Framework in describing these five elements. The ‘Thinking Skills and Personal Capabilities in KS1 & 2’ booklet in the CCEA ‘Curriculum Support and Implementation Box’ provides useful background detail. It may be useful to illustrate points with examples of current or common classroom activities. In summary, emphasise: Skills and Capabilities are tools for learning and need to be made explicit – children will develop these skills and capabilities through normal classroom routines and activities. Many of the strands overlap and are interrelated - boundaries of the strands are fuzzy and blurred. Certain skills will quite naturally ‘cluster’, e.g. an activity may be designed to focus on developing problem-solving and decision-making, but this will also naturally require children to be creative as they come up with possible solutions to the problem, etc. The use of a single framework provides a common language for teachers and children as learners to talk about skills and explore their development across the curriculum. This framework is being used throughout primary and post-primary schools in NI. The strands are not developed in isolation but through the curriculum - infusion is the method of delivery. The focus on thinking: leads to more active rather than passive learning experiences; enables pupils to make connections, transfer and apply their learning across a range of contexts; and, promotes greater independence and deepens understanding for learners. NEELB Early Years Team 2007

8 Cross-Curricular Skills
Numeracy Using ICT Communication Insert photo The cross-curricular skills along with the Thinking Skills and Personal Capabilities are an important focus for teaching and learning throughout the primary school. The development of children’s capacity to use communication, numeracy and ICT skills in a range of different contexts will contribute to their learning in all areas of the curriculum and also benefit them in terms of broader life skills. ICT - children should have regular opportunities to use a range of technologies for a variety of purposes. They will have opportunity to develop confidence and competence with equipment including computers, printers, digital cameras, camcorders, CD/DVD players, listening centres, etc. Communication/Numeracy – children will have opportunity to develop oral and written communication skills and numeracy skills, not just when focusing on Language and Literacy or Mathematics and Numeracy as subject areas, but also for a range of purposes throughout the school day. Photo here may illustrate an aspect of classroom practice when children are displaying skill in one or more of these areas. e.g. a group of children using roamer/pixie/bee-bot. NEELB Early Years Team 2007

9 Foundation Stage Curriculum
Language and Literacy Mathematics and Numeracy The Arts Personal Development & Mutual Understanding Physical Development & Movement The World Around Us RE The Foundation Stage Curriculum is built around six core learning areas plus RE (which is been agreed by the four main Christian Churches in NI and specified by the Department of Education). The emphasis is on more flexible and integrated planning to best meet the needs and interests of the children. It is only when the curriculum evolves from the needs of the children that it can be viewed as effective in promoting learning. Nursery Guidelines, NICC 1989

10 Language and Literacy Listening & Talking
Insert photo The Language and Literacy programme builds on the good practice now well-established in most schools since the introduction of the Literacy Strategy in The emphasis is on oral activities including the development of conversation skills, questioning, auditory discrimination, awareness of sounds and patterns of sounds in words, listening and responding and using oral language for a range of purposes and audiences. Photo may show children engaged in conversation as they play together, e.g. in role play, or participate in a lotto game/rhyme activity… NEELB Early Years Team 2007

11 Language and Literacy Reading
Insert photo Children will have access to a wide range of fiction, non-fiction and poetry texts in the form of real books, picture books, big books, reading books, posters, leaflets, computer software and media texts (TV/DVD). Appropriate time will be spent establishing that core language skills are in place, e.g. concepts of print, phonological awareness, sequential memory skills, etc. Children will have regular large group modelled and shared reading experiences and will also have opportunity to be supported by teacher and classroom assistant to read independently either alone or as part of a group. Photo may show children browsing/’reading’ in book area or engaged in modelled/shared/emergent group reading… NEELB Early Years Team 2007

12 Language and Literacy Writing
Insert photo or samples of writing Children will be encouraged to experiment with a wide range of writing tools for a range of purposes – including Literacy related work and also in their play, especially in role play. As they build confidence as mark makers and increase their awareness of the purpose of print/writing in the communication of meaning, they will show an emerging sense of the relationship between letter sounds and symbols/letters. Children will be encouraged to ‘have-a-go’ and take risks as emergent writers, focusing on what they can do and do know about the writing process. Their handwriting skills will be developed through play activities and through aspects of the Physical Development and Movement programme. NEELB Early Years Team 2007

13 Mathematics and Numeracy
Insert photo Number Measures Shape & Space The Mathematics and Numeracy programme, again building consistently on Numeracy Strategy emphases, is primarily built around provision of practical experiences to communicate abstract concepts in concrete ways and focuses also on the development of appropriate use of mathematical language. Mental Maths strategies will also be encouraged in fun ways. The content includes Number, Measures, Shape and Space, Sorting and Patterns and Relationships. Photo may show child/ren engaged in an aspect of practical maths activity, e.g. sorting, creating patterns, exploring shapes… Patterns & Relationships Sorting

14 The Arts Drama Music Art & Design NEELB Early Years Team 2007
The Arts includes Art and Design, Music and Drama and will encourage individual expression and creativity through a variety of practical experiences. Art & Design NEELB Early Years Team 2007

15 Personal Development and Mutual Understanding
Insert photo ‘PDMU’ is now a statutory element of the curriculum and this is a significant change in emphasis although it must be acknowledged that early education has traditionally focused on developing children’s personal, social and emotional skills. PDMU consists of the development of knowledge, understanding and skills in two main elements: - ‘Personal Understanding and Health’ which includes children’s sense of ‘self’, feelings/emotions, dispositions and attitudes to learning and health and safety; and - ’Mutual Understanding in the Local and Wider Community’, which deals primarily with relationships and responsibilities. PDMU will be taught through involvement of children in daily routines, through participation in play and through a variety of activities including stories, rhymes, music, pictures and drama. Photo may show children engaged in circle time, play with puppets/masks, choosing from healthy break options… NEELB Early Years Team 2007

16 Physical Development and Movement
Insert photo The introduction of Physical Development and Movement as a discrete learning area also highlights the previously mentioned emphasis on ensuring this aspect of children’s development is appropriately prioritised. The Physical Development and Movement programme incorporates the development of children’s knowledge, understanding and skills in Athletics (running, jumping, throwing), Dance, Games and Gymnastics. Children will have regular PE sessions indoors and outdoors and will have many opportunities within the classroom both through planned physical activities, play experiences and routines to develop skills including their hand/eye co-ordination, manipulative and fine motor skills and balance. Children will also be encouraged to understand the health benefits of physical activity and the effects of exercise on their bodies. Photo may show children engaged in physical activity indoors or outdoors… NEELB Early Years Team 2007

17 The World Around Us Insert photo NEELB Early Years Team 2007
The World Around Us includes the development of children’s knowledge, understanding and skills associated with the traditional subject areas of Geography, History and Science/Technology and will be experienced by the children primarily through exploration of stimulating topics or themes which enable children to explore the key issues of interdependence, place, movement and energy and change over time. Photo may illustrate child/ren engaged in play around one of the key themes, e.g. investigating self with mirror, exploring movement with construction toys or in water play, role play with people who help us focus… NEELB Early Years Team 2007

18 Play – a child’s work! “The best way to prepare children for their adult life is to give them the things they need as children.” Tina Bruce, 1987 Emphasise that the core means of learning and teaching in the Foundation Stage is through play – lots of research over many decades in this area highlights how children learn best through fun-filled, experiential, multi-sensory experiences. Some of the benefits include: Activity keeps brain and body active. Builds confidence and positive attitudes to self, others and environment. Social skills - helps children get to know others, share, take turns… Children learn new skills including development of vocabulary. It is fun! NEELB Early Years Team 2007

19 Play Workshop What do children learn through play?
See separate information for ideas for running the play workshop. Explain task to parents and allow 20 minutes for engagement in activities – mingle with the group prompting, discussing, encouraging… Ideas for Feedback – what do children learn through Play? (make links with Thinking Skills & Personal Capabilities) Motivated to learn Developing a sense of enquiry Developing and consolidating skills Communicating and co-operating Playing out real-life situations Problem- solving Investigating and exploring the environment Able to take risks in a secure environment Active and absorbed Able to make choices Provided with access to the curriculum Allowed to be self-motivated and independent in their learning NEELB Early Years Team 2007

20 How can I help my child learn through play?
Have fun – be an ‘eejit’! Encourage all kinds of play. Talk to your child. Read and ‘rhyme’ with your child every day. Remember daily routines are loaded with learning potential. Reinforce turn-taking /sharing, etc. Place emphasis on process NOT end product. TAKE TIME OUT – enjoy spending time with your child Share ideas for how parents can support children’s play at home – refer to final page of parents/carers’ leaflet for further ideas. NEELB Early Years Team 2007

21 “Since we cannot know what knowledge will be most needed in the future, it is senseless to teach it in advance. Instead we should try to turn out people who love learning so much and who learn so well that they will be able to learn whatever needs to be learned.” John Holt, 1965 End the session by reminding parents of the lifelong nature of learning. It may also be useful to refer to the aim and objectives of the Revised Primary Curriculum (see ‘The Big Picture’). NEELB Early Years Team 2007

Download ppt "~ Learning Through Play ~"

Similar presentations

Ads by Google