Role of Play in the Curriculum

Assignment Three

  • Task 1. Examine the statutory requirements for children to recognize the role of play in the curriculum. What's the role of play in the curriculum? Justify your arguments using research from the statutory requirements.
  • Task 2. Analyse the potential for play structured development across the selection of non-statutory contexts. Identify a range of non-statutory contexts eg. playgroups, day nurseries, child-minders etc. and analyse the ways that children's development can be advanced through the play opportunities provided.

Play includes a diversity of activities, games and interactions which create satisfaction and satisfaction for children. With years of research and observation of the impacts from children embracing play, we is now able to recognize that it is an vital part of learning which is also an essential benefactor within North Ireland in regards to the National Curriculum like the Foundation stage. These observations and assessments about the usefulness of play with regards to learning within the first Years sector has allowed us to update our Curriculum consequently.

The Foundation Level in education found in North Ireland includes the first two years of compulsory education, which is major one and primary two classes which range from the age ranges of 4 years to 6 yrs. old. In North Ireland, children get started education at the foundation stage at a youthful age than anywhere else in the world. Since it is believed, in the last years of a person's life, their brain is at its most lively, meaning that the earlier a child begins education, a lot more they'll know. The move from nursery college is then needed to be taken in soft steps practicing health care and level of sensitivity, allowing the procedure to be easier on the child's understanding as they transfer to an increased learning level.

The Foundation Level specified within the North Ireland Country wide Curriculum provides educators with the opportunities to teachers to build up children's dispositions and also allows professors to construct on children's public skills as they are interacting with other children of how old they are and learning new skills off their new friends.

Children learn a great deal through play. Inside the Northern Ireland curriculum, play is a vital contributor as children recognise that as they play, they learn and develop. The kids identify play with fun, excitement, exploration and satisfaction, which allows them to rapidly learn from what they are doing without removing from the knowledge. Play allows for children to get knowledge in a wide variety of topics, including the arts, mathematics, the planet around us and so forth. As play ranges in one person to another, this allows for no play experience to be the same, and since play is individual and original to each person, they'll be constant learning and progressing if given the appropriate resources that are years and ability appropriate.

Throughout many years, professionals have gained great insight on the worthiness and importance of play within the first years, as it is an important factor to advertise and influencing physical, communal, mental, cognitive and dialect development which is witnessed through day-to-day observations of children at play in the first years.

Play is a substantial area of the early on years foundation stage in northern Ireland as it allows youngsters to access the curriculum in an age appropriate manner, within a variety of play contexts. The significance of play within our curriculum relates back to how we makes it possible for all children, no matter their situation, whether they are poor, wealthy, disabled, Chinese, Asian and so on, learn in the early years, and play can be an accessible resource to all or any children, departing no individual without an education at a age.

An important document, provided by the North Ireland Curriculum, entitled "Learning through play" addresses how children learn effectively from a variety of play contexts, in which a select range are targeted in depth within the text, included in these are:

  • Learning through Dramatic Play
  • Learning through Sand Play
  • Learning through Water Play
  • Learning through Dough and Clay Play
  • Learning through Table Top Play
  • Learning through Small World Play
  • Learning through Structure Play
  • Learning through Creative Play

There a wide range of advantages of these areas of play, such as with sand play, this can allow children to build up understanding and increase their knowledge through their senses. By exploring the different and changing textures of sand, children learn through their sense of touch, this area of play can also result in numerical knowledge as the children can discover capacity, size, weight and aspects of gravity as the children manipulate different sand toys to get mathematical knowledge. That is one particular, fun and effective way for children to access the curriculum. In my current setting, which is a primary one school within a statutory institution, there are sand play facilities indoors and outside the house with a variety of tools children can use. With relevant issues in the curriculum, we're able to change these equipment and tools around to be more relevant to the current theme. One of these was through the month associated around "INDIVIDUALS WHO Help Us", we integrated our indoor fine sand area into a construction side by providing the children with spades, shovels, toy diggers, I even printed off a range of structure site signs to help make the experience more all natural and practical for the kids, enabling them to become more easily immersed. Experimental, free-flow and imaginative play are included within this area, focusing on many aspects of the curriculum, providing more information for early on learning and focusing on children's development.

Water play is extremely similar to sand play, developing reasonable thinking through the senses and providing knowledge of the world around us, early physics and early on mathematics. The NI Curriculum points out that Drinking water play benefits children in lots of ways, such as tackling and improving their personal, interpersonal and psychological development, physical development, creative development and knowledge and appreciation of the surroundings.

Personal, Sociable and Emotional development is affected in this field of play by children working individually, co-operating with others, taking changes and sharing toys and games or equipment, enjoying the sensory mother nature of water with the addition of colorings or other items such as glitter or various temperature ranges.

Physical development is enhanced through expanding fine motor unit skills by manipulating tools, filling up, pouring, emptying, stirring, squeezing, pressing, pulling etc. and expanding palm/eye co-ordination by filling up and emptying containers of different sizes.

Creative development boosts through observing shade change through adding car paint or food colouring, benefits of marbling techniques, and by creating may seem in this inflatable water by blowing or splashing.

Finally, knowledge and understanding of the environment is enhanced by children discussing drinking water in local environment, home, rivers, pond, beach, adding equipment from local environment to energize imaginative play e. g. shells, sea weed, pebbles, rocks, fishing nets, tubes, watering cans talk about occupations where water plays a substantial role e. g. anglers, firemen, sailors, farmers, plumbers and talk about animals and creatures that live in water e. g. fish, crocodiles.

Water play is an everyday occurrence in my placement setting, appealing to an array of children who are all wanting to play in this area. That is another beneficial and effective way for children to gain access to the curriculum as through my experience, I have seen every child learn subconsciously and also have fun at the same time.

On the whole, the role of play in your curriculum is to simply allow children to learn effectively, through excitement and without realising they are really learning as the child is distracted by objects, video games, activities and tasks which interest them. Play is utilized in your curriculum to market children's development in a variety of contexts, allowing them to grow at a particular pace by providing them with the educational and fun resources they need to do so.

Play is an efficient way to allow for a child's exploration, which in turn stimulates knowledge and skills they will require in adulthood. Play will permits the provision of a range of experience and opportunities for children to set-up the foundations because of their learning and gain for this in the very best and satisfying ways. Solid wood, E (2013) points out how

"Playing and growing are synonymous with life itself. Playfulness bespeaks creative imagination and action, change and possibility of change. Play activity this displays the very presence of the do it yourself, that part of the organism that exists both independently and interdependently, that can mirror upon itself and become aware of its existence. In being playful the child attains a degree of autonomy suffered by representations of his inner and external worlds. "

This is a further representation of the importance of play and exactly how it can offer a beneficial impact after children by guaranteeing this is an everyday activities in their educational lives. Play is put in place within the Northern Ireland as it is a successful way to boost children's effective learning between provision for most other aspects of their development.

In conclusion, I believe throughout my very own experiences over the past 2 yrs, alongside the everlasting implementation of play within our North Ireland Curriculum, I really believe play is an effective, effective and inspirational way for children to gain access to the curriculum and for that reason, effectively learn. The role of play is to simply allow children to learn through enjoyment and subsequently, promote their progress and development, sculpting their future, and is also therefore, an essential facet of our curriculum.

Analyse the prospect of play based development across the range of non-statutory contexts. Identify a variety of non-statutory contexts eg. Playgroups, day nurseries, child-minders etc. and analyse the ways in which children's development can be advanced through the play opportunities provided.

It has been accepted how play is implemented greatly across our Northern Ireland Curriculum impacting the foundation level of education, in place within statutory requirements (5 to 16 years of age), however, there is excellent potential for play in non-statutory settings, such as playgroups, pre-school groups, afterschool groups, crЁches and day nurseries etc. We've evaluated how successful play is designed for promoting children's learning and development within the statutory configurations, and it ought to be recognised it can have similar effects within non-compulsory regions of child health care.

All of these non-statutory contexts provide a selection of play activities with the aim of enhancing and increasing children's opportunities to learn and develop. Whether these contexts a kid attends is before compulsory education such as parent or guardian and toddler categories, or in sync with the statutory, like after university programmes, there is a significant emphasis on play within each. These configurations recognise the needs of the child and promote many way for their development to be enhanced.

In my experience, I've witnessed the potential of play within preschool communities. That is particular area in which I gained the most experience, the explanation for focus upon this area. With pre-school programs, it can be argued these settings provide the foundations for learning as the child is going to a setting which provides a minority of educational activities, mainly structured after play which expose the child to ideas of play during the earlier stages with their life. This might possibly make it easier to allow them to settle into statutory options as they experienced some connection with a setting which gives set activities to initiate learning and create dispositions.

Throughout the attendance to pre-school organizations, children may bring with them a variety of personal and cultural skills, values and attitudes. The kids have achieved from associations and activities within the home and the immediate environment which is vital that these should be recognised and followed within the setting up.

The needs of any pre-school child are defined within the textbook Curriculum Direction for Preschool education (1997) that are the following:

"Small children require:

A safe, secure, healthy and rousing environment where there is sufficient supervision;

Opportunities to investigate, satisfy their curiosity, explore the environment outside and inside the playroom, stretch their sense of marvel, experience success and create a positive attitude towards learning;

Appropriate intervals for learning through suffered engagement in play;

Interaction with delicate and understanding men and women. "

Given these needs it employs that small children require a curriculum which:

matches their physical, social, emotional and cognitive needs at their particular stage of development;

motivates, issues and stimulates them;

is wide-ranging and balanced, allowing children to make options and providing them with opportunities, through play and other activities, to develop the learning associated with:

These adjustments are completely non-compulsory but however, are an advantageous way of taking the stress of parents, providing effective care for children, and of course, providing an earlier structure because of their education. The pre-school categories can include playgroups, nursery classes, parent and toddler groups and so on.

Minett, P (2010) describes the advantages of preschool groups in the book Child Attention and Development detailing how a professionally effective and successful preschool group will donate to a child's early on education by providing them with:

  • Opportunities to socialise and learn how to mix with other children and individuals also to enjoy their company;
  • Facilities such as space to run around, equipment to climb, toys and games, paints, paper, modelling dough etc;
  • Activities such as experiences, music, dancing, singing and video games;
  • Activities which encourage early on familiarity with words and volumes, to help children acquire pre-reading and pre-counting skills"

This book really helps to outline a number of successful means of promoting education and a good start into learning for a child during the early on years of life. Play is the primary contributor within many non-statutory settings I have worked within. For example, each day Nursery where I worked, the kids were aged between labor and birth and two years of age within the room I worked. Here, the kids had a multitude of play activities open to them, which range from dolls, vehicles, musical and sensory musical instruments, treasure boxes joining to sensory development, and outdoor play with a range of resources available during the dry calendar months.

Outdoor play has a significant role inside a child's learning and development as it can help to take on the regions of imaginative, creative and exploration play, which bring in young children to new opportunities to learn and gain knowledge of the world around them.

The children's regimens from 7:30am to 6:30pm, that happen to be the most common time of preschool organizations, revolve around a solid influence upon play, with the personnel changing the available resources during the day so that children do have a big change, meaning they do not get bored, leading to a lack of appropriate play provision and therefore, not promoting learning. Because of the rotation of different play activities, arts and crafts, video games and creative responsibilities, this setting provides a successful way of utilizing play into a daily routine providing learning for young babies and children. The setting I worked well within cares for children of the age ranges labor and birth to eight years of age, once again another commonly seen limitation within preschool categories. The rooms generally are a "Babies" room, "Wobblers" room, "Toddlers" room and an after university programme, which are implemented within my day nursery environment. Within this placing it was vitally important that children noticed secure in their romantic relationships with adults and this noticed that the parents are there to support them by guaranteeing parents who working within the setting understood to treat them as individuals and sensitively take part in their play.

Justice, L et al (2008) clarify some of the consequences after children's development in which preschool teams' goal. Research was conducted over time involving two split sets of children, some of which attended preschool groups, and other people who did not. At the end of the word 12 months, these children were evaluated on the skills and abilities. These results have provided significant evidence of the effects of participating preschool for a short period of the time. The findings recommended that "children who went to a Perry Preschool Program were much more likely to graduate from high school on time also to own a home and less likely to be referred for special education, to get Welfare as a grown-up, and to commit crimes". These results show significant impact on a child's life, as a child's cognitive development will be enhanced as recommended by the results because they are much more likely to graduate, displaying logical potential and thinking being greater than those who do not be present at preschool groups. Sociable and mental development is also targeted, as recommended, those who commit crimes are more likely to be children who didn't attend preschool communities, showing anti-social behaviour which in turn shows how their emotions have been damaged more negatively than others, resulting in crime.

In conclusion, I assume that these non-statutory adjustments provide children with wide-ranging play opportunities all adding to their learning, expansion and development. A child does not need to wait only compulsory to get the most from a setting up in terms of their encounters towards learning, in fact, I believe to enhance a healthy and positive approach to learning, a kid should attend some form of non-statutory setting up to help them to accept the younger years of life where learning reaches its quickest and gain dispositions. Appropriate opportunities should be provided in throughout pre-school options and afterschool programs for children to build up personal and interpersonal skills, principles and attitudes.


Broadhead, P et al (2010) Play and Learning in the first Years. SAGE.

Else, P (2009) The Value of Play. Continuum.

Fromberg, D (2012) Play from Labor and birth to Twelve: Contexts, Perspectives and Meanings. Routledge.

Justice, L et al (2008) Attaining Superiority in Preschool Literacy Education. Guilford Press.

Lockett, A (2004) Continuous Curriculum: Planning for Spontaneous Play. CHYPS Learning.

Minett, P (2010) Child Attention and Development. Hodder Education.

Northern Ireland Curriculum (2014) Available: http://www. nicurriculum. org. uk/

Northern Ireland Curriculum (2014) Learning through Play. Available: http://www. nicurriculum. org. uk/docs/foundation_stage/learning_through_play_ey. pdf

Reifel, R (1999) Play Contexts Revisited. Greenwood Publishing Group.

Sluss, D (2014) Helping Play in Early Years as a child: Environment, Curriculum, Diagnosis. Cengage Learning.

Tassoni, P (2005) Planning Play in the first Years. Heinemann.

Wood, E (2013) Play, Learning and the first Years as a child Curriculum. SAGE.

Northern Ireland Council for the Curriculum (1997) Curricular Guidance for Preschool Education. Available: http://www. deni. gov. uk/preschool_curricular-2. pdf

Courtney Hill


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