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Learning through play

Started by Kim Proffit 08 Nov 2016 5:28pm () Replies (9)

Hi there, 

We are looking at developing a Learning through Play Programme in our New Entrant classes to help the transition from ECE.  As a team leader, I am in the process of gathering research and data to support the pedagogy behind this and have found this group great for finding and accessing that.  

I am interested in hearing from others who have worked with their Leadership team / parent community and classroom teachers around beginning such a programme and the work they have had to do around the educating as to the 'why.'  I think this is very much the right way to go for our 5 year olds but this will mean taking a slightly different attitude towards meeting 'standards' which is a huge step.   Any information from experts out there would be greatly appreciated!



  • Jacqui Pennington (View all users posts) 08 Nov 2016 9:02pm ()

    Evening Kim,

    I have been developing a Learning Through Play model in my NE classroom since Term 2 this year and I'm absolutely passionate about it. Next year we aim to develop the model for the first block right the way through our Junior Team to Year 3.

    If you look at CORE senior researcher Kerryn Davies, there is very easy to read inspiring data.

    Longworth Education run workshops throughout the country on Learning through Play.

    There are several schools with programmes at different levels of establishing programmes especially in Christchurch and Wellington.

    I am in Petone and happy to have people come in observe and discuss what we are doing. I feel I have just started the journey.

    Jacqui Pennington

  • Kim Proffit (View all users posts) 10 Nov 2016 8:09pm ()

    Thanks Jacqui, 

    I have been reading some of Kerryn's work and totally agree - very inspiring.   I am based in Auckland so visiting probably isn't on the cards unfortunately.   

    When you talk about developing a model - what does that look like exactly?  I guess I am wondering how I present this to my teachers.  I have ideas in my head and some experience with a Discovery Programme but it is a very new concept for many of my team.


  • Judith Urry (View all users posts) 10 Nov 2016 7:17pm ()

    I could give you some ideas if you were interested. Email me of you want to pick my brain.

    Best wishes, Judith


  • Jenn Causer (View all users posts) 10 Nov 2016 8:24pm ()

    We are also beginning the journey into Play based learning.  I have a very supportive Junior Team who are reading and researching around PBL alongside me.  In my New Entrant room (I am in a collaborative space for terms 3 and 4) we are at the point where we just want to really put our Journey into action.  I wondered if anyone had a timetable of a play based day.  We started out thinking we would do pLay based until morning tea then carry on for the rest of the day - cramming reading, writing and maths in.  We are now thinking potentially we could play in the morning - one of us at a time would withdraw reading groups while the other supported children and monitored what was going on. Then pause play (not sure of the best word there) for morning tea, have our writing as per normal and writing groups who are not working with the teacher will carry on with their play.  I would be interested in hearing how others are doing this and if you have a timetable (at all) that  you would be happy to share.



  • Josie Woon (View all users posts) 12 Nov 2016 11:47pm ()

    We have been doing play based learning for 2 terms with a year 0-2 class with 2 teachers and a teacher side.  We run this programme from 9.30-11am Mon-Thurs. We have tried lots of variations but the one that works best is where one of us is out with the children while the other takes reading and writing groups and then we swap. We see 1 reading group where we have them for writing straight after. This allows them to write about the book we read or a topic of choice. We do whole class modelling of writing as part of the  9-9.30 slot.  We wrote learning stories of conversations, issues students have and also notes about where to next for our planning. Then for maths in the middle block we split for this and then everything else in the afternoon. 



  • Tessa Gray (View all users posts) 12 Dec 2016 11:27am ()

    Here's some more food for thought as you plan your programmes for 2017 To play is to learn (originally posted in Facebook for teachers page) where the author talks about "the rise of trans-nationalism" where people moving within and between cultures in a global community. "This has had a significant impact on young children and their education, dramatically changing the idea of culture’s once static influence on the child”.

    What do you think, does this also apply to us here in NZ?

  • Kim L (View all users posts) 24 Apr 2017 8:34am ()

    Hi ladies, I have done some reading on the role of the teacher in play based learning.  there seems to be a wide variation in how teachers see their role.  I would be interested in any comments about your experiences especially if you have made any changes and the reasons behind the changes. I'm still trying to decide where I stand.  Totally free play - teacher modelled and supported- teacher directed. Any thoughts would be appreciated. Cheers Kim L

  • Julia (View all users posts) 09 May 2017 10:46am ()


    We introduced play based learning at the beginning of the year for our Year 0-2 children. As teachers, we make a selection of materials and resources available for the children, and then let them play.  At this stage, our role as teachers has been to observe the range of creative developments and social interactions.  We are reflecting and refining all of the time.







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