Promoting Children's Play, Learning and Development
In ‘stage 1’ I believed that play is important for children in the early years and that children learnt best through play, however when exploring my practice, in ‘stage 2’ I found out that at my setting I lay great emphasis on adult let activities for 4 and 5 year olds. I saw their play as time passing in between the focused activities and disregarded this as an active opportunity for learning. When taking the role of a ‘complete observer’ during my investigation I realised how much children were learning during self chosen play experiences. During ‘stage 3’ of the RP cycle I found that the regular group sessions that I was arranging for the 4 and 5 year olds were far from play. In fact it mainly consisted of direct teaching with EYFS goals in mind. Children achieved some of the goals set; however they did not enjoy the activity (Appendix 2). It seemed as if the children were eager to complete the task so that they could go back to playing (Appendix 1c & 1g).
At the end of the each session, I asked Adam, John and Sara what they liked most about their nursery day (Appendix 5). On the first day all three participants chose an activity that was self chosen; however on the second day, two of the participants chose focus activities and on the third day all the participants chose focus activities. This made me realise that