In the Early Years, we interweave curriculum subjects into the children’s independent play and through adult guided activities so that the skills required in all areas of learning are acquired in a natural and unforced way.
How this works in practice
For example, a group of children may start playing a game of pirates outside and have to master the skills of negotiation: Who will be who? Where will they play? Will they have a leader? What will be the rules?
They may have to create some of their own props in the craft area. They may find some pirate stories and use the language and vocabulary specific to being pirates.
They might count how much treasure they have found and draw a treasure map or write a rescue message when their ship sinks.
The learning possibilities are endless.
So what may look like a group of children simply playing is in fact a hotbed of learning and interaction, where careful adult intervention ensures that children are acquiring and developing skills without even realising it.
Later, during carpet time the treasure maps, rescue notes, props and counted treasure can all be shared and celebrated as fantastic maths, story-telling and writing skills. This then encourages the children to extend their play and highlights the learning that has taken place.