Implications for my practice –
This process has inspired me to think outside the box within my teaching. Seeing the skills that could be used and developed within ‘loose parts play’, without them being a focus, has made me realise that I need to provide more varied experiences in which an assortment of skills can be practised. This will lead into using more outdoor learning experiences but also looking outwith the school into the community to find programmes, specialists and links that can support these varied contexts for learning.
Implications for my school –
I am aware that I have had the privilege of this enquiry to help develop my understanding in this area and therefore I am at a different point in thinking from some members of staff. It has been great that members of staff at my school have since looked into LfS and in particular ‘loose parts play’ but we all come at it from different interests and experiences. We need to pull on these different perspectives to learn from each other. With regards to planning for developing and assessing skills, I think we need to utilise the early years staff who conduct most of their assessment through observation.
Implications on a wider scale –
I think a mind-shift is required for the full impact of ‘play’ and ‘loose parts play’ to reach it’s potential. At a recent professional learning event I discussed this idea and we commented that it seems to be acceptable to have ‘Muddy Mondays’ or ‘Outdoor Wednesdays’ at ELC or P1 but the acceptability of this from a pupil, parent and teacher perspective changes as pupils get older. Perhaps we need to think differently about how learning looks further up the school and use our younger stages as an example of the benefits of varied experiences.