Play in UK primary schools

McInnes, K (2022) 'Play in UK primary schools.' In: King, P and Newstead, S, eds. Play across childhood: international perspectives on diverse contexts of play. Palgrave Macmillan, Cham, pp. 73-95. ISBN 9783030724603

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Play is considered beneficial for children’s learning and development; however, how this is enacted in practice will vary depending upon the age of the child and the type of setting. School is where children spend a vast amount of time, with the majority of children in primary school in the UK being between the ages of 5 and 11 years. This age span encompasses different curricula which vary throughout the four nations of the UK. Usually children encounter a play-based curriculum in their younger years, for example, the Early Years Foundation Stage in England or the Early Years Foundation Phase in Wales. However, past the early years of schooling, and for the majority of their primary schooling, children encounter a subject-based curriculum. In these curricula, the mention of play is either missing or there is little or no mention of play. These differences in curricula expectations present tensions for teachers and teaching within primary schools which have different curricula and implications for curriculum delivery by teachers. This will be discussed in this chapter. Furthermore, another aspect to children’s play within primary schools is playtime and, although this is being increasingly eroded, the value of playtime for children’s development and learning will also be discussed in this chapter. Finally, this chapter will present the need for a focus on playfulness, rather than alongside play, which, it will be argued, transcends subject-based delivery and can be implemented by all teachers regardless of the age of children being taught.

Item Type: Book Chapter or Section
Divisions: School of Education
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Date Deposited: 02 Jul 2023 17:07
Last Modified: 02 Jul 2023 17:07
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