Learning through Play

We believe passionately in learning through play, which is why we have named ourselves a Playgroup!

Play is serious work for children, not an alternative activity. We believe that play is necessary and important for enabling children to:

  • Gain knowledge, skills, concepts and attitudes in a meaningful context.
  • Make informed choices becoming confident independent learners.
  • Work at their own pace in a non-competitive environment.
  • Achieve success and acknowledge failure as part of the learning process.
  • Learn to express and deal with their emotions behaving appropriately.
  • Begin to shape attitudes and make sense of the world.
  • Gain confidence, self esteem and develop a sense of personal identity.

“Children have opportunities to choose resources and join in planned activities. They are confident, enjoy learning and are happy and settled … Children develop the skills they need for later learning. They learn to cooperate and recognise the value of working together.” Ofsted report, 2019

Free-Flow Play

Free-flow play allows children to follow through their play ideas without interruption. Their concentration is maintained and the opportunity to move into a new space will often extend their play and offer opportunities for involvement of additional children.

When children can freely choose where and how to play, they don’t have to wait for a special time in the day to try out ideas, or to practice new skills, or simply to work on a larger scale than indoors. The building and other users restrict us from doing free-flow continually.

Free-flow happens between 9.30am to 10.40am and 1.30pm to 2.50pm. This allows Fun for Twos to spend time outside. We are very aware that some children, given the choice, would not go outside at all, so between 11.15am and 11.50am every child will start their play outside.

The Early Years Foundation Stage Curriculum

We plan our topics and activities to follow the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) Framework. Our staff make sure activities are suited to children’s individual needs and interests. As an Ofsted-registered provider, we must follow this framework, which has been developed by the Government to set standards for the learning, development and care of children from birth to 5 years old. Children complete the EYFS at the end of their Reception year in primary school.

The EYFS Framework includes an assessment of children’s progress between age 2 and 3, which we undertake at playgroup. The assessments are based on classroom observations which we make continuously and share with you via our online learning journal, Tapestry. There is no formal testing. Progress is assessed against the Government’s early learning goals and discussed with parents.

The EYFS is organised into these areas of learning:

Prime areas

The Prime Areas are particularly important for igniting children’s curiosity and enthusiasm for learning. They are the most essential for children’s healthy development and future learning. Children mostly develop these areas first.

  1. Personal, Social and Emotional Development
    As children develop a positive sense of themselves and respect others; they develop social skills and learn how to manage their feelings and understand appropriate behaviour in groups.
  2. Communication and Language Development
    Giving children the opportunity to speak and listen in a range of situations and to develop their confidence and skills in expressing themselves.
  3. Physical Development
    Children will have the opportunity to be active and interactive, to develop co-ordination, control and movement; they will be helped to understand the importance of physical activity and healthy choices in food.

Specific areas

As children grow, their learning in the prime areas helps them develop skills in these specific areas:

  1. Literacy
    The children will be encouraged to read and write by listening to others reading and being encouraged to begin to read and write themselves, and being given access to a wide range of reading materials.
  2. Mathematics
    Children will be provided with opportunities to practise their skills in counting numbers, calculating simple addition and subtraction problems and describing shapes, spaces and measures.
  3. Understanding of the World
    Children will be guided to make sense of their physical world and their community through opportunities to explore and observe people, places, technology and the environment.
  4. Expressive Arts and Design
    Children will be supported to explore and play with a wide range of media and materials, as well as providing opportunities for sharing their thoughts and feelings through a variety of activities in art, music, movement, dance, role play and design technology.