Our teachers have always recognised that play was an important aspect of child development. However, it has also been challenging for teachers to provide enough time for play while working to develop formal literacy and numeracy skills. We are now really trying hard to refocus on getting a better balance so that play takes a rightful priority space in the learning opportunities for our early years students. Oral language, problem solving, social learning, mathematical thinking, creativity, and many other aspects of learning, are developed through play.
This term, our early years staff (Reception to Year 2) have participated in workshops to further our understanding of Play. Our focus has been about better equipping our students with creative play opportunities to improve learning. With support from Woodend Children’s Centre, our teachers have also visited the centre to observe play.
We have had the opportunity to work with an Early Years consultant, Robyn Waller on Play. During these workshops we have looked at:
- our philosophies about Play
- Play theorists
- how Play links to the Australian Curriculum in particular, literacy and numeracyhttps://woodendprimaryschool.edublogs.org/wp-admin/media-upload.php?post_id=703&type=image&TB_iframe=1
- determining what Play could look more like at Woodend
Our early years staff also visited Black Forest Primary School to listen to their journey with Play, and tour their learning spaces. This was a valuable experience where we had lengthy professional discussions with Black Forest staff, many questions, and exchanging of teaching and learning ideas.
We will keep you informed of our developments with Play throughout the year with a view to also involving you, our parents, in developing understandings of the importance of play.