The KS1 teacher – a play based approach to teaching and learning

Are you like me, a real lover of learning through play? If so, please follow me on this journey, transforming the teaching and learning in KS1 to a play based approach.  I would love to hear all about your ideas too!

I think my love of play probably comes from my EYFS background, I specialised in ages 3 to 7 and then taught in FS2 for seven years, however, I am now teaching in Year 2.  I have seen the significant impact quality provision can have on progress and I really want to develop play based provision from FS2 into Year 1 and through to Year 2.  I have wanted to do this for such a long time, but we have never been in the right place as a school. However, now we are and it is all starting to come together for us, I’m so excited!

To help us on our journey, we have been working with Early Excellence, as part of a cluster project. Through this project, we get CPD to support our understanding of quality play, focusing on skill development. We get support from a consultant in school to develop our provision and we get ideas for resources too.

We have just had our first consultant visit and it was a huge success.  She listened to our vision and how we wanted it to work for our children and she helped us develop our ideas.  She offered fresh eyes and helped us identify next steps.  It was so inspiring and nice to have time to just sit and talk things through, as a team.  Everyone is buzzing and inspired now too! I’m not alone, we all have the same vision!

Now, in an ideal world, I’m sure we would all love to pick up the Early Excellence catalogue and buy the complete classroom sets, right?  But in reality budgets don’t stretch that far unfortunately.  I feel extremely lucky that we have been able to be part of a project in the first place!  Our consultant understood this and although she showed us lots of Early Excellence products and resources, she also gave us lots of practical tips, using what we already have.

Like;

– taking cupboard doors off to create open shelving instead of buying in new furniture from the beginning.  She talked about how this will give us more time to think about what we actually want anyway and what will work in our classrooms too.

– creating areas and having tables that are linked to that area yet not in that area as we still need to be able to teach whole class.

– prioritising the areas we need, like small world and construction to ensure all curriculum areas are taught effectively.  A must for our Year 2’s has to be small world and imaginative play as this will help them be more creative in their writing and develop understanding in their reading.  Also, an enquiry area, to get that really high quality Science teaching and learning in a more purposeful and enjoyable way.  Our construction area is also going to be a focus, all linked to structures and mechanisms.  Having this in provision will allow our children lots of time over the year to play and refine ideas rather than one or two weeks here and there!

Keep tuned to follow our journey and to see what quality KS1 provision looks like in practice and how we can make it work!

silhouette of person holding glass mason jar
Photo by Rakicevic Nenad on Pexels.com
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