Play within the PYP!

Seisen News

Play within the PYP!
Serrin Smyth

This week our PE teacher, Rachel Grantham, and PYP coordinator, Serrin Smyth, facilitated a workshop for Kindergarten and Grade 1 teachers which looked at the role of play within the PYP. 

One of the central features of early years learning is PLAY!

Through play, students develop multiple skills, dispositions and construct meaning and adapt their personal models of how the world works. 

The areas that play helps to develop and support are:

Play can be difficult to define as it is often culturally and contextually determined. Therefore it is more appropriate to describe play through its characteristics and develop our own pedagogy of play collaboratively by focusing on our reality at Seisen International School and what play means to us within our environment.  

The workshop focused on three main ideas:

Teachers were encouraged to consider these questions as they played with materials and experiences that had been set up focusing on different units of inquiry from our PYP Programme: 

What are you exploring?  Explore!

What are you discovering? Discover!

How are you communicating? Communicate!

How are you being creative? Creative!

These questions connect to our Kindergarten unit of inquiry for students: 



Using these materials, how could you create a road system?

What signs and symbols might you need for this system?

How does a road system work?

What if... ?



 Explorative Play: 

What do you think is happening? 

I wonder why...? 

Why do you think that?

What are you discovering? 

What questions do you have? What changes do you see?




How do you feel playing here?

(Tell someone how you feel and why you feel it)

What does the material feel like?

What words would you use to describe what you are touching?

How could you change the material?

What are you thinking as you play here?

Reflections from teachers after the experience included: 

- time went so quickly and I didn't want to stop! 

- Playing was so relaxing, there was no pressure and I was discovering at my own pace

- Play was process oriented, we were living in the moment.

- The experiences were very tactile and so much learning was taking place

- Amazed at how scientific many of the experiences were

- There was space to build vocabulary and discuss what they were doing

- Many subject areas were explored

- We were socially constructing our own rules for play - social development

We look forward to sharing with you the follow on from this Professional Development, where teachers will now plan for intentional play opportunities to support inquiry within and outside the classroom! 


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