chapter  2.6
The Importance of Play and Explorative Learning
Why bother with play?
WithJo Trowsdale, Bernadette Duffy
Pages 11

In this unit, we are looking at the role of explorative learning and play. These are stressed in the curriculum documentation for the early years, the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) framework (DfE, 2014), and echoed again in the Ofsted report Teaching and Play in the Early Years (2015). However, as children get older and move through their primary education, these key elements for successful learning often receive far less attention than they deserve. This unit argues that it is vital to continue to promote a playful, explorative attitude to learning, which in turn promotes the essential learning capacities, such as independence, creative thinking, problem-solving and resilience, that children need for well-being and success, now and in the future. The best teachers use the ways of thinking encouraged by play and explorative learning to ensure that children are engaged and motivated to learn throughout the primary years and beyond.