The Importance Of Play In The Early Years

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Through this assignment I am going to discuss the importance of play in the Early Years based on the content of a government publication: “Learning, Playing and Interacting”, with a particular and personal focus on the importance of free, unstructured play; and the importance of outdoor learning based on Hilary Fabian’s journal article “Outdoor Learning Environments: Easing the Transitions from the Foundation Stage to Key Stage One”, with a special focus on outdoor learning in the school playground in Key Stage One.
On the one hand, the government publication concentrates on the importance of play and how adult interacting with children can be crucial to enhance their learning. Adult-led playful learning has been proved to be essential, but
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I believe this scenario is applicable to the British society too. Under these circumstances, being ‘play’ recognised as a Right of the Child (Article 31, UN Convention, 1989) and considering “play is the basis of all development and learning for young children” (Early Years Foundation Stage Framework, 2014), free play time needs to be, in my opinion, guaranteed and protected. I feel schools should provide children with sufficient time to play freely, more specifically outdoors and with reduced adult supervision, enabling them to take risks and promoting less inhibited and controlled peer interaction, in order to provide them with this free, unstructured outdoor playtime that children at present are lacking. It is considered that “each area of learning and development must be implemented through planned, purposeful play and through a mix of adult-led and child-initiated activity … Children learn by leading their own play, and by taking part in play which is guided by adults” (Early Years Foundation Stage Framework, …show more content…
Outdoor Learning Environments: Easing the Transitions from the Foundation Stage to Key Stage One). Linking both publications, I believe Hilary Fabian’s research, findings and conclusions provide a great answer to my subject of discussion. Her conclusion was that “the value of the outside can be re-evaluated and looked at as a learning opportunity for all key stages”. In this respect, in order with the ‘enabling environment’ principle, the school playground should “provide children with a stimulating, accessible and safe environment that promotes learning, considering the individual needs of the pupils” (Early Years Framework,

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