The Importance of Play
You may have picked up in the press that applications close this week for “what could be the most coveted job in education: the Lego professor of play, development and learning at the University of Cambridge” (The Guardian 17.1.17). It seems to be heralded as an innovative and ‘breakthrough’ move, which comes as a surprise to me as an Early Years teacher and educationalist.
The post is being sponsored by The Lego Foundation, which believes play has a critical role for children, particularly in high-quality learning. “Play should be part of education,” says Stjerne Thomsen. “What we want is to get the UK government to encourage more playful learning in schools, rather than testing.” Our recently updated Teaching and Learning Policy has a section on the importance of play in children’s learning. Indeed our whole approach is ‘playful’. For very young children there is no distinction between work and play, both can be equally interesting, challenging, engaging, frustrating, joyful, sociable, solitary, absorbing, meaningful, fun, or upsetting.
There is a distinguished list of early years educators and psychologists that have written at length about the value of play. These include Froebel (1782-1852), the MacMillans (1919), Isaacs (1930), Piaget (1945), Schiller (1954), Bruner (1960), Erickson (1977), Lee (1977), Sylvia (1977), Donaldson (1978), Yardley (1984), Curtis (1986) and more. Hence my surprise that this is being lauded as the next best thing for education. At LNS we know that children learn through play and we provide as many opportunities as possible for children to explore, experiment and create new meaning through play. It is what we believe and what we do. I am concerned however that if government at last is persuaded by commerce that play is educational it will be wrapped and packaged in such a way that it will become as dry and wrung out as other aspects of learning. Linda
Later Years: This week in Later Years, children in Y4,5 & 6 took part in their last two matches of this year’s Lewes schools’ football league. Our players worked really well together but the other teams were more experienced and gave us something to aim for next year. Spirits were high and we managed to sneak in a photo with us all holding the football cup when no one was watching!! (See attached photo).
In collaborative projects we have been exploring the theories of evolution from creationism to Charles Darwin. We have looked at how Darwin founded his theory of Natural Selection and Adaptation of nature in order to survive. This has led us to studying animals that exist now that have had to adapt to avoid extinction.
The Y6s learned much from their enterprise endeavours last week, and they worked efficiently and profitably this week. The combined elements of presentation and aromas enticed generous customers to part with their money to raise money for PATINA- thank you to everyone who shopped and delighted in what was on offer – we’ll be back next Thursday so bring your pocket money one and all! Anne-Marie, Louise & Ondine.
You have probably heard that we have been looking at angles. Angles on paper that we can draw as well as angles that exist in the world we live in. When you share (and I know, it can be hard) a pizza with your brother or sister or even brother and sister you have to be able to divide 360 so that everyone gets an equal share. You do not do this with a protractor. You look and see that it happens with your eyes and your incredibly complex brain. Near Lewes is the town of Seaford and one parent has reminded me that there is a location not far from the Martello Tower (pictured) that has a place names marked so that you can see what angle you are travelling along to get to other parts of the world. Perhaps if you are out you might consider the direction you are following if you are geocaching this weekend? Or the angles being played in a football match when your team is defending against a corner kick? Ian
Middle Years: This week we’ve been busy bees learning how to become more independent with our learning. In literacy we’ve been carrying out research using non-fiction texts as a start to this. Although we love using the internet to find things out, we’ve been learning how interesting and fun it can be using non-fiction texts instead! We have all chosen a topic to research so that we can create our own ‘fact’ book. As part of learning how to become more independent, we have started our shoebox project, working from our independent designs from last week. We are creating a number of exciting environments inside them and just can’t wait to see the results and exhibit them! In maths we are reviewing our understanding of the four number operations, this week exploring methods for addition. Over the next few weeks we will be exploring methods for subtraction, multiplication and division as well and making sure we all have at least one method we can rely on for each operation! Finally our enterprise project has also started! We have all been set the challenge to see how far we can make £1 grow! Watch this space! Thank you to everyone who has helped to make book club happen this week! Please do speak to Clare if you need any help with it. *Some children would like support from home in sourcing a non-fiction book of their choice to help them with their literacy work. All books need to be accessible, without adult support. Your child will let you know if they need help finding a book. Thank you* Wishing you all a great weekend. Clare & Lauren
Early Years: One of the questions that arose last week from our Circles for Learning session with John and Ezra was, “How will we know if Ezra doesn’t want to be filmed?” To follow up on this line of inquiry, this week we have been exploring how people express how they are feeling through their facial expressions and body language. We looked at a variety of images depicting children in different situations and answered the questions, “How do you think they are feeling?” and, “Why do you think they are feeling that way?” We learnt that some emotions are easy to recognize, like happy and sad. However some are more difficult to define e.g. confused, worried, surprised, scared, excited. One interesting comment that came from the discussion was that when someone is crying it doesn’t necessarily mean they are sad, “Some people cry when they are happy!” We explored how we would know happy tears from sad tears, “When someone is crying because they are happy they are usually smiling.”
One of the highlights of our week has been starting to read Gangtsa Granny, by David Walliams. Within the first few pages we discovered the main character in the story, an 11 year old boy called Ben, really didn’t like going to stay with his granny every Friday night for a variety of reasons including her TV not working, the fact that all she does is play Scrabble, she smells of cabbage and she doesn’t acknowledge when her bottom squeaks, which is quite frequently!! The group were outraged that Ben didn’t like staying with his granny and expressed this as a chorus of we like our grandparents. We explored this further to discover that what makes our grandparents fun to be with is that they have a different way of looking after us than our parents. It often involves being given a treat of some kind: watching TV, sweets, eating on the sofa, going on outings, playing on the computer.
We are going to change the books in our book bags on a Friday afternoon. Please make sure your child’s book bag is in school for that day. The book bag box is kept under the snack box table. All book bags need to be put in there. Thank you. Amanda & Rachel
Nursery: This week two boxes and a hubcap have been all we needed to set off on all sorts of journeys and adventures! We’ve been astronauts, explorers, secret agents and even snails as we’ve climbed and crawled in and out of boxes. Working together, we’ve constructed and assembled vehicles and roads and even started to draw our own maps. Buried treasure, giant launch buttons and visits from the cat have made for a very exciting and creative week. Willow, Julie & Emma
AFTER SCHOOL CLUBS
|Monday||Netball||Anna email@example.com or Lucie firstname.lastname@example.org|
|Tues & Weds||Art Club||David Bradford 07855 038773 or email@example.com|
|Weds||Sports Club||Mark 07957 416257 firstname.lastname@example.org or Leo 07862 285801 or email@example.com|
|Thurs||Knitting||Susan on 01323 811942 or sign up in the office|
|Mon & Thurs||After School Club||Contact Fliss on firstname.lastname@example.org or on 07852 975661 to book your child in|
|Fri 27th Jan||Evening||Later Years Pop Up Restaurant is POSTPONED|
|Thurs 2nd Feb||3.15-3.30pm||Y6 Patina cake sale|
|Tues 7th Feb||3pm-4.30pm||Football League NOT HAPPENING (spare date not needed)|
|Thurs 9th Feb||3.15-3.30pm||Y6 Patina cake sale|
|Fri 10th Feb||3.15pm||Break up for half term|
|Sat 11th Feb||7.30-12.30pm||Ditch the Detox – Party for Patina at Lewes Town Hall|
|Weds 15th Feb||9.30am-4.30pm||Half Term Adventure Sports Day, £20 (Mark 07957 416 257)|
|Mon 20th Feb||8.55am||Back to school|
|Mon 20th Feb||Evening (time TBC)||Whole School Meeting|
|Tues 21st Feb||8.45am-5pm||Y5&6 to Natural History Museum|
|Fri 24th Feb||12.30-2.30pm||Y4,5,6 Cross Country at Ringmer Primary School|
|Monday||Chinese New Year! Stir fry vegetable noodles and edamame beans||Orange and seeds|
|Wednesday||Sausages mash and gravy||Fruit crumble|