Play & Learning at School





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The image shows three children sitting on a bench, surrounded by greenery, with text above them saying "PLAY & LEARNING AT SCHOOL - Five Year Olds."

Most people are clear about the importance of play, it is essential for children’s development and features prominently in the EYFS, Scotland’s Curriculum for Excellence and in the foundation Phase for Wales. However, there still exists a tension about how it is managed in the classroom in a climate of the attainment of targets and testing.

By carefully observing a class of 5 year old school children, it becomes clear that they are capable of fantastic self-directed play that superbly supports their development. You will witness purposeful play in abundance as you get to know individuals and see what really motivates them to learn.

Learn how to provide the best kind of support and stimulus including the environment, adult involvement and peer groups. Look at how to foster motivation to persist, leading to the satisfaction of their own intended outcomes. All of the prime and specific areas of the revised EYFS are in evidence, showing you the real breadth of learning that is taking place.

  • Understand how child initiated play supports learning (characteristics of effective learning)
  • Learn how to weave child initiated play activity into learning outcomes (in line with current frameworks)
  • Gain insight into what really motivates children to learn
  • Know when to interact, intervene and when not to interfere
  • Understand the importance of observing for effective planning
  • Be inspired to provide the best possible stimulus and enabling environment

How to use this video? +

  • Divided into chapters, the structure of the film compliments use in seminars, lectures and INSET days
  • Great for analysing particular methods of learning, stages of development and levels of engagement
  • Encourages discussion, thought and reflection on current practice
  • Real examples clearly illustrate complex theories producing engaging and memorable learning
  • Link theory to your practice easily by observing what theories actually look like in everyday situations
  • Supports work with parents by showing real examples that demystify classroom activity
  • The chapter structure offers flexible learning at a time and pace that is convenient



Introducing some of the children and different aspects of play and learning in a reception class.

Lets pretend

Self initiated imaginative play inside and outdoors.

The wedding

Everybody gets involved in a role play whilst the teacher draws on areas of learning through play.

Playground Games

Playtime outdoors covering interactions, games and managing emotions.

Physical Development

Outdoors devising their own physical challenges whilst building relationships.

How & Why?

Curiosity and experimental play leads to lots of discussion in class.

Calculation & Creative Efforts

Self initiated tasks in the classroom offer an opportunity for different areas of learning.

Playing with Numbers

Children making connections with numbers that mean something to them.

Chatting with Adults

Children engaged in different tasks communicating with adults for different reasons.

The Witches den

One idea sparks the imagination and creativity for a group.

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DOWNLOAD INCLUDES: 10 x MP4 SD files –  Comprehensive user notes to support your training (1 x PDF download)

PERMITTED USE: Supporting in house training, lectures, research/development work and for supporting presentations

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With Siren’s instant online access you can rent this training film for 1 week, 3 months or a year. Our most affordable option makes this training accessible to watch on any device to train as many staff members from one setting* as you need. You will need a reasonably fast internet. You can test this by watching one of our trailers. If that works your good to go.

(*Terms and conditions apply – see website for full t&c’s)