Update 3

Excited that I have finally got out and used the Loose Parts with the children! Have had various sessions with the P1, P4 and P7 pupils with free play, guided play and set tasks. My hypothesis was that free play would suit the P1s better, guided play would be better for the P4s and the P7s would need set tasks for them to achieve best. Although yet to analyse my observations and interview responses fully, I know that this hypothesis has not been proven correct. I have also learnt that getting the children involved in the planning process of how we can use Loose Parts in the school has been really helpful for developing ideas. They have agreed with me on some ideas but have developed or changed others to suit their needs or likes and dislikes more. I found the discussion with children so valuable for where I am in this journey and look forward to sharing the results.

6 Responses to “Update 3”


  • I’m excited to read about it, Faye.So are you setting all age groups off with free play, guided and set tasks rather than letting them choose? If so, that sounds like a good way to begin, to guide the children but also make it clear to them what you are trying to do and what you want their opinions on.It will be interesting to see if the children’s views fit with your own initial thoughts or not. Do you have time to speak with all the age groups? Is there any element of your plan that you feel will be tricky to carry out?

    • Yes, I’ve been able to give them all a chance to participate in free play, guided and set tasks and am gathering their views on these experiences. I have already learnt so much to back up what I thought but also provide alternative options and suggestions. It has made me more excited to launch this across the whole school and the pupils can’t wait to have more opportunity to do this again. My concern is making sure there is a clear progression from P1 to P7 however, I think the progression might actually come from the children as opposed to something we make them do or say to them. Still to look into this more but this has surprised me.

  • Hi Faye… it’s interesting that your hypothesis is being challenged and I’m intrigued by the views of the children at different age groups. I have P5 and they’re not very keen on the loose parts yet, so I’m keen to find an approach that will get them started and enthusiastic. What have you noticed so far?

    • I really focused on the play aspect to engage the pupils and they felt like they were getting extra playtime which was a positive start to the experience. I found that the P4 group were the most enthusiastic and excited. They were most excited when given some guided tasks and I think got the most from this but enjoyed the free play and set task too. The P4s used a lot of good vocabulary when playing too e.g. “if we push these tyres harder, the force on them will be stronger”, “we’ll need to make sure this structure has a strong base”. Perhaps the prior experiences of these pupils helped them to gain more from the experience?

      • It’s fascinating that you’re starting to consider the different factors that build towards children managing free play… I suppose we usually assume that children just know how to play, but sadly this seems to not be true!

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