chapter  1
16 Pages

The background to the book: the school, the research and recent developments in policy and theory

This study draws from a year in the life of the early years unit at Fishergate Primary School in York, England. The unit serves children aged from three years until the end of their reception year. Andy Burt, one of the book’s authors, was the teacher in charge of the unit until July 2011 and, with the early years team, had been developing approaches to open-ended play in the unit for several years – we will explain what we mean by ‘open-ended play’ as the book unfolds, as we try to illustrate the concept as an holistic approach to teaching and learning in the early years and also explain how it links with the implementation of the Early Years Foundation Stage and the day-to-day responsibilities of practitioners in early years settings.