Month: January 2020

Block Play Guidance for Practitioners using Building the Ambition

Experiences which:

  • Encourage the child to wait their turn with their friends, for example, having the patience to wait for a turn whilst sharing the blocks and accessories at the blockplay.
  • Develop physical skills by building with blocks, strengthening muscles by moving in and around objects inside and outside.
  • Provide interesting objects to touch which encourage questions and language.
  • Help the child to see how things work, how objects can be moved and transported around; how similar blocks can be grouped together; how things balance.
  • Give the child time and space to be involved in their own schematic play and adults who support this.
  • Highlight a growing awareness of the need for some rules and why this is important and being able to respond to basic structures e.g. we wear our shoes in the blockplay area.
  • Allow children to use their imagination with role play, making models, constructing and designing.
  • Help children remember how they have solved a problem in the past and how this learning links to a current challenge.
  • Give time for children to find out similarities and differences in simple problem solving activities.

Adults who:

  • Understand the child’s own needs and preferences; for example, when the child is in a bigger group and how they may react, or when there are too many people around or it is too noisy.
  • Encourage children to initiate conversations and who extend these by asking well thought out questions.
  • Explain and model new words with the correct level of challenge to extend the child’s grasp of language.
  • Observe sensitively and intervene when necessary to extend the child’s thinking without over-direction and who do not interrupt moments of intense concentration.
  • Use techniques such as wondering aloud, explaining what is happening but all the time allowing the child to find out for them self what will happen next.
  • Encourage the young child to think, helping them to solve problems and giving the child time to come to a satisfying conclusion from the child’s view and then taking time to discuss this together.
  • Recognise differences in starting points of the individual child and encourage them at the appropriate level.
  • Encourage children to see another’s point of view through joint projects and cooperation in play.
  • Praise the child’s growing physical capabilities and challenge them to take the next step.
  • Pose questions which encourage inquiry such as, I wonder if, why do you think that, to extend the young child’s ability to verbalise their thoughts and actions.
  • Ask children I wonder what happens if… to help children make sense of what happens when you try things out.
  • Provide a range of resources to talk about which encourages children to be creative.
  • Help model techniques and strategies with children and encourage this new learning in the child’s new challenges or suggest a new context.

An environment which is:

  • Aware of providing materials and resources for children to use to find out how they move or what they are used for.
  • Provides resources which are interesting and stimulate questions and encourage children to communicate with each other.
  • Gives space to build, construct and take things apart and time to practise these skills over and over again.
  • Is organised to promote physical development, movement and spacial awareness inside and outside
  • Encourages inquiry and invites discussion and exploration with interesting objects to talk about and explore, stimulating curiosity.
  • Is supportive of giving time for the young child to persevere with their thinking and inquiries, to test their own theories out over several days or re-examine the same experience again over time in a variety of ways. For example, how to build a bridge across an area of the playroom using different materials without being constrained by overly formal routines of the day.


Come Along – Play-Based Pedagogy Sharing Practice Event

“Play is the Way! Come along to find out first-hand how Falkirk teachers and early years practitioners are using Froebelian principles and play-based pedagogy to deliver inspiring, motivating and developmentally appropriate learning experiences for Falkirk’s bairns. 2018 ENTHUSE winner, Nicola Connor, will also join us from West Lothian to share practical ways to promote STEM in your classroom through play and playful learning experiences.”

The Falkirk early years team are looking forward to hosting this play-based pedagogy workshop on behalf of Education Scotland’s Teacher Leadership Programme on February 10th 2020 in Camelon Education Centre  from 4PM-6PM and hope to see lots of our own Fab Falkirk folk there.  Please use the link below to sign up and come along to hear about some of the great learning and teaching happening in our schools and early learning settings.