We have been managing to make the majority of our day play-based. We do spend a short time on daily six each day, read with children individually and have one 'writing session' per week. Of course Number Agents also takes up part of our day. Our play makes the most of outside when the weather permits and we also have a lovely native garden area (or bush as the children call it) where we can play. Play ranges from kicking balls, scootering, bike riding, water play, deconstructed play which mixes a range of items, teachers, puppets, shows, sheet huts, etc etc etc...basically whatever the children decide to direct themselves into. The other day, they even put on their togs and went running in the rain...fun!
We are only five weeks into our term (didn't start till the 7th) and I already noticing some very positive things.
*Happy kids, very happy kids! I've always prided myself on making school as fun as possible, but now it truly is...the joy on their faces is awesome and wow the excitement at every turn could power a small city.
*Much more perceptive children, they seem to notice everything! Because they are truly interacting with their classroom environment they notice every little thing. The are empowered to do so. They are know longer waiting to be told what to do.
*Improved social relationships. Children much more willing to engage with each other around a play-based task and not worry about whether their 'best friend' is doing it.
*Lots and lots of opportunities to read and write and a lot of opting into these types of activities within their play-based day.
*No boredom and much more focus. They persist at tasks because they want to do them.
*Greater awareness of each other and emotions, they spend a lot more time talking to one another, they just know each other better.
*No need for timetables, things happen as they happen when they naturally fit.
*Children adjust quickly to school they are happy and settled and their parents seem a lot more at ease too.
*They naturally challenge themselves with tasks.
*They love to expand on what we have been doing in agency and take it into their own play.
*They call it play-based and love it! No fancy terms needed.
*We all have more freedom, there is no pressure, if things don't get done, they don't get done and no-on is negatively effected as a result. If children notice something in their environment we can take a small group aside and learn more about this.
*We have time to sit alongside children and do some one on one work with them. We know children a lot better. We know their needs and can cater for them individually.
Those are some of the things I have noticed, there are probably many more :)
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