Play is one of the most important aspects of Early Years children in school. It supports learning and all aspects of children’s development. Through play, children develop language skills, their emotions and creativity, social and intellectual skills. For most children, their play is natural and spontaneous. In our provision play takes place indoors and outdoors and it is in these different environments that children explore and discover their immediate world. It is here they practice new ideas and skills, they take risks, show imagination and solve problems on their own or with others. The role that adults in school have is crucial to this. We provide time, space and appropriate resources that will inspire play and extend their learning while developing children’s imagination.
We do this by providing high quality planned experiences for the children. The information that is needed for this to happen is taken mostly directly from the children themselves. Through observing the children while they play and interact with each other, we are given an insight into what children know, understand and can do. In order to support them with their learning in an enjoyable and inspiring way, we get to know what their particular interests and experiences are. These interests are what all planned activities are then based on.
Observations are made in many ways. By joining in with the children’s play when invited to do so, by watching and listening as well as asking and responding to questions. This procedure gives the children a sense of ownership over their learning.
Mrs. Claire O’Brien
Foundation 1 Teacher
International School of Bucharest