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Starting with Play

How does play help children to be ready to learn in school? 

This activity introduces the argument that play is a vital role in developing children’s physical learning, cognitive learning, communication and social skills as well as supporting their mental wellbeing. Moyles shows how children are natural players and that play is a valuable tool for learning that needs to be nurtured and encouraged rather than closed down. Moyles worries that politicians, headteachers and some parents want to stifle play in early years settings and Reception classes by asking for more time and attention to be given to more school-like activities.  

Moyles, J. R. (ed.) (2015) The excellence of play. 4th edn. Maidenhead, Berkshire: Open University Press.   

This reading is an opportunity to consider the arguments and some of the research evidence discussing how play can support School Readiness. You should be reading this to help learn the arguments for play being a key part of the early years curriculum and some of the reasons that people give for diminishing it’s importance. 


After reading the chapter above, reflect on the following:

Identify the reasons given in the chapter for how play supports children and why adults give more attention to adult-led activities.
Use the answer template below to record your thoughts and bullet point your thoughts under each of the column headings. Bring this along with you to discuss in this weeks workshop.