Learning Through Play in Year One


“…[The] world’s greatest discoveries have been made because people were playing around with an idea. The freedom of thought allowed for by play may unlock the learning potential which more confined approaches to the curriculum leave behind.”  Taylor and Baulter, 1993

“We do not stop playing because we grow old. We grow old because we stop playing.”  George Bernard Shaw

“Play strengthens instincts needed for the future… it is a child’s way of practising and preparing for adulthood.”  Kathy Sylva, 1992


Play in Year One at Hollingwood Primary School involves providing a wide variety of worthwhile experiences which will help to develop the children’s knowledge, skills and understanding.   It builds on the active, hands–on learning that has taken place in our Foundation Stage. It is usually linked to the topic being explored and allows children to engage in a variety of focused play activities AND independent play based games/activities, for example, construction, role play, art/design and table top games.

Learning through play is about…

Providing opportunities for adults and children to plan learning together

• Enabling children to develop their own ideas and interests

• Setting up a stimulating and appropriate learning environment

• Creating opportunities for children to make choices and decisions

• Developing Thinking Skills and Personal Capabilities

• Providing practical, interactive and enjoyable play experiences

• Encouraging children to think, do and review for themselves and reflect on practice

• Employing a wide range of teaching strategies

• Developing a language for learning

• Sharing and demonstrating learning

'Play is a vehicle through which children can…' gives you more information