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Primary school shake-up to focus on ‘play-led’ learning

Children at primary schools would not study traditional subjects until as late as 10 years of age, under proposals being considered by policymakers. Instead, there would be a much greater emphasis on creative play during the early years of primary school, and broader areas of learning in later years. The reforms are based loosely on some of the features of top-performing education systems in countries such as Finland, as well as new research on how children learn. The proposals, drafted by the National Council for Curriculum and Assessment (NCCA), represent some of the biggest proposed changes to teaching and learning at primary level in more than two decades. They also seek to give teachers more flexibility and autonomy over the amount of time dedicated to key areas of learning. Educators, policymakers and parents discussed the proposals at a conference in Dublin Castle on Tuesday as part of a consultation phase which continues until the end of April. Exciting opportunity

https://www.irishtimes.com/news/education/primary-school-shake-up-to-focus-on-play-led-learning-1.3028193

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Importance of play for babies & children Australian Government Department of Education and Training (2009). Belonging, being and becoming: The early years learning framework for Australia. Canberra: Commonwealth of Australia. Retrieved 19 June 2019 from Cole-Hamilton, I. (2011). Getting it right for play: The power of play: An evidence base. Why Movement is Essential in Early Childhood With so few years under their belts, my 3- and 6-year-old daughters are still learning to inhabit their bodies. They are learning how to maneuver themselves physically, how to orient themselves in space. As Vanessa Durand, a pediatrician at St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children in Philadelphia, says, freedom of movement is necessary for children to meet their developmental milestones: “Children learn by experiencing their world using all of their senses. The restriction of movement, especially at a young age, impedes the experiential learning process.” Movement allows children to connect concepts to action and to learn through trial and error.

The cognitive benefits of play: Effects on the learning brain © 2008 - 2014, Gwen Dewar, Ph.D., all rights reserved Science supports many of our intuitions about the benefits of play. Playful behavior appears to have positive effects on the brain and on a child’s ability to learn. In fact, play may function as an important, if not crucial, mode for learning. Want specifics? Here are some examples. Practical tips By Opal Dunn, educational consultant and author Introduction Young children learn English differently from most adults. Most have an innate ability to pick up English while taking part in activities, by making sense of what they are doing and picking up the adult’s language that accompanies the activity. You can find out more in the British Council booklet ‘How young children learn English as another language’, also available on the parents pages of the LearnEnglish Kids website.

The Power (and Peril) of Praising Your Kids What do we make of a boy like Thomas? Thomas (his middle name) is a fifth-grader at the highly competitive P.S. 334, the Anderson School on West 84th. Slim as they get, Thomas recently had his long sandy-blond hair cut short to look like the new James Bond (he took a photo of Daniel Craig to the barber). Unlike Bond, he prefers a uniform of cargo pants and a T-shirt emblazoned with a photo of one of his heroes: Frank Zappa. Symbolic play and language development Highlights Longitudinal indication for the link between simple symbolic action and symbolic development. Simple symbolic actions link to babbling and complex symbolic outputs.

Deconstructing Role Play – Provide the Resources, Step Back and Watch Children’s Learning Flourish Hospital, vet’s surgery, post office, travel agent – themed role play areas are often seen as a must for an early years setting. They are often meticulously prepared to be aesthetically pleasing, covered in laminated words and pictures with the aim of enticing children in. But this is where I encountered a problem: in these areas, children are expected to come together to play out adult scenarios that are consistent with these themes. Yet how many children have visited a travel agent to book a holiday recently, or operated on a pet dog in a vet’s surgery? How to help your child learn English with YouTube videos Tracey Chapelton, education consultant and materials writer, has some advice for parents of young English learners, whose home language might not be English. To learn a language we need a lot of exposure to it. YouTube is beneficial if you are not a fluent English speaker, and want a more fluent model of English for your child. Helped along by the visuals of their favourite cartoon, children can watch their favourite characters involved in adventures, while absorbing the language. Repetition is also important for language learning. It helps us remember important words and expressions.

You speak with an accent. I don’t. Accents are things that only other people have. They are, by extension, things that you don’t want to have. Accents are, in short, shortcomings. This is why, if someone tells you that “you speak with no accent”, you can be sure of two things: that you have received words of praise indeed; and that you speak with the same accent as that person. So the person is actually not only praising her own accent, she is also giving evidence that she has no idea she’s got one.

Does my toddler have a short attention span because she won’t sit still for a story? A: It is perfectly normal for toddlers to not sit still very long—period. Most don’t like to stay in one place for long now that they can explore in so many new ways—by running, jumping, and climbing. So, an adult’s idea of snuggling on the couch to hear a story may not be the same idea a toddler has for story-time. You may only be able to read or talk about a few pages in a book at a time. Here are some ways to engage active children in reading:

"I Said I Want the Red Bowl!" Responding to… Amelia, told that she can’t have a fifth book before bedtime, shouts: “You are the meanest mommy! You are not invited to my birthday party!” Derek, when offered a choice between carrots and cheese, not ice cream, before dinner announces: “I don’t like the choices you are choicing me!” Alex hurls a bowl of his favorite cereal off the table and screams, “I said the red bowl, not the blue bowl!” If any of these exclamations sounds familiar, you are not alone.

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