My Plan

  • FOCUS: Using ‘loose parts play’ to develop problem solving and creativity across the primary school.


  • QUESTION: In what way does the format of ‘loose parts play’ need to change to provide progression of creativity and problem solving skills at P1, P4, P7?


  • WHO: 6 pupils at age stage, P1, P4, P7. The children will be of mixed ability and gender.


  • WHAT: I am going to use 3 different methods of ‘loose parts play’ at each stage to examine which methods provide the most appropriate challenge and chance to develop problem solving and creativity skills at that particular stage. I will provide opportunities for each group to experience a session of exploratory ‘loose parts play’, guided ‘loose parts play’, and set timed tasks using ‘loose parts play’. The materials provided for each stage and session will be the same to ensure the possible variables are reduced. I will analyse the evidence from these sessions to comment on the appropriateness of each method in order to provide suitable challenge for each stage


  • WHY:  As part of the school improvement plan I am rolling out ‘loose parts play’ opportunities across the school to develop skills for learning, life and work. I want to do this in a purposeful and challenging way for all pupils. I need to learn more about how to differentiate the use of ‘loose parts play’ in order to achieve challenging experiences for all involved to develop sustainable creativity and problem solving skills. The British Teaching Council explains that knowledge and skills at intertwined but this means that too often the skills that come with the knowledge are simply delivered by a teacher. This means that the environment for developing these skills are not challenging enough and therefore the skills are not fully developed at a sustainable level. Education Scotland states that problem solving and creativity are going to be vital skills for the future as technology will change society dramatically over the next 50 years. Therefore it is essential that when pupils develop the skills of creativity and problem solving it must be in a manner which is sustainable for learning, life and work.
  • EVIDENCE: I plan to use 2 forms of evidence to examine this qualitative research. I will create an observation grid that will be used for all sessions and stages to note down significant observation that are made into categories. I will also use semi-structured interviews with the groups of children to gather their views on the level of challenge at each session. These semi-structured interviews will not be identical to enable me to ask questions to suit the ages of the children.


  • WHEN:I need to spend the first fortnight collecting to resources for the ‘loose parts play’. I will then schedule the sessions over the following month and gather evidence at the same time. I will spend the next fortnight anaylsing and evaluating the evidence and collating results.

2 thoughts on “My Plan”

  1. This is a great plan, Faye. Working with small groups will really give you a chance to see what is going on and to hear conversations. Will you be given time to work with and observe these groups yourself? The grid sounds like a good idea, making it as simple as possible for you to record. I look forward to hearing how it goes.

  2. Your enquiry is really interesting and I can’t wait to hear about what you find out about how different delivery methods work with different ages.

    I’m trying to picture your observations… Are you observing 6 children on their own, or when playing with their class/a bigger group?

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