Skip to content ↓
Stop Press!

We're thrilled to confirm that our Ofsted report has been published - Outstanding in all areas!

Stop Press!

We are thrilled to confirm that we have been awarded the Inclusion Quality Mark. Go to our Inclusion page to read our report.

Stop Press!

We are thrilled to announce that we have been awarded the Quality Mark Gold for History following an assessment carried out by the Historical Association on 7th February 2023.

Barrow Hedges Primary School

Learning Through Play

In this section...

Play underpins the delivery of all the EYFS at Barrow Hedges.

Children have opportunities to play indoors and outdoors. Most children play spontaneously, although some may need adult support, and it is through play that children develop intellectually, creatively, physically, socially and emotionally.

Providing well-planned experiences based on each child’s spontaneous play, both indoors and outdoors, is an important way in which we support young children to learn with enjoyment and challenge. In playing, children behave in different ways: sometimes their play will be responsive or boisterous, sometimes they may describe and discuss what they are doing, and sometimes they will be quiet and reflective as they play.

Through play, in a secure but challenging environment with effective adult support, children can:

  • Explore, develop and represent learning experiences that help them to make sense of the world
  • Practise and build up ideas, concepts and skills
  • Learn how to understand the need for rules
  • Take risks and make mistakes
  • Think creatively and imaginatively
  • Communicate with others as they investigate or solve problems

Planning for Play

Teaching should not be taken to imply a ‘top down’ or formal way of working. It is a broad term that covers the many different ways in which adults help young children learn. It includes their interactions with children during planned and child-initiated play and activities: communicating and modelling language, showing, explaining, demonstrating, exploring ideas, encouraging, questioning, recalling, providing a narrative for what they are doing, facilitating and setting challenges. It takes account of the equipment adults provide and the attention given to the physical environment, as well as the structure and routines of the day that establish expectations

At Barrow Hedges we plan for play understanding that children are experiencing and learning in the here and now, not storing up their questions until tomorrow or next week. “It is in that moment of curiosity, puzzlement, effort or interest – the ‘teachable moment’ – that the skilful adult makes a difference. By using this cycle on a moment-by moment basis, the adult will be always alert to individual children (through the use of observation), always thinking about what it tells us about the child’s thinking (on-going assessment), and always ready to respond by using appropriate strategies at the right moment to support children’s well-being and learning (planning for the next moment).

From National Standards document Learning, Playing and Interacting P.22 – 23

‘In the Moment’ Planning

“Practitioners must consider the individual needs, interests, and stage of development of each child in their care, and must use this information to plan a challenging and enjoyable experience for each child in all the areas of learning and development.” (Revised EYFS)

Our practitioners continually plan ‘in the moment’. Each time they interact with a child, they are observing, assessing, planning for, and responding to, that individual child. The traditional cycle of observation, assessment and planning is recommended in numerous documents including Development Matters and The National Strategies document “Learning, Playing and Interacting”.

In practice we organise the setting- including the time, the resources and the adults to ensure that each child displays deep levels of engagement for the majority of the time. We measure each child’s level of involvement using the Leuven Scales of well-being and involvement.

When each child is highly engaged in their learning, we can be confident that they are making good progress. When deeply engaged, their brains will be “lit up”, we notice when support is needed, and interactions will ensure that obstacles are overcome or that new directions and possibilities are available and learning will be meaningful and fun.

We support children’s learning and development by closely matching what we provide to every child’s current needs. We use a range of ongoing formative and summative assessment to decide what each child needs

Learning through play is captured through the use of a personalised electronic learning Journey. ‘Tapestry’ is the platform we choose to use to collate each child’s attainment and achievements. Tapestry supports us to monitor and track each child’s progress through their next steps rigorously to ensure that all pupils are making at least good progress across all seven areas of learning and development. Pupils share their ideas and thinking using a variety of media, captured in each child’s paper learning journey folder.