Starting school, what do they do all day? Play?
After your child’s first day at school no doubt you will be asking them “So what did you do today?,” in a hope that their answer will give you a glimpse into what they did without you, where they looked after, did they have fun?
The answers will be one of two
- I dunno
- I just played.
This is probably what your child will say about everyday at school about their first year at school. Don’t panic they are learning all day long. I know from experience that what looks like play is actually carefully crafted learning by the teachers in the class.
Many teachers are sat agonising over the best way to plan their precious 6 hours with your children in their care. The best way to get a to get the most enjoyment. The best way to get the most engagement. Ultimately a day with learning crammed into it.
It is just that it has happened without the need of a desk , pencil and workbook each, when everyone all faces the teacher at the front. It has happened through short bursts of carpet time. Learning occurred when adults made sensitive interactions alongside children as they play. Learning happened with a adult guiding them towards the next step and skill they need to acquire.
It is a magic trick! By the end of the year all teachers aim for every child in their class to be well on their journey in learning to read, write, count and use numbers. To be most importantly be a part of their school and class.
How your child will learn?
Your child may be the one who goes home looking slightly dishevelled, the one with paint in their hair or the clean one. However there is no doubt that your child will have had an array of play opportunities all carefully presented to encourage them to think and discover for their selves.
It might be that they chose to make these discoveries inside or outside. In the first year at school the outside classroom is an important learning tool with many classes allowing children to choose to be in or out. Your child may have chosen to access the creative messy area, or role play areas, or construction toys and small world or more investigative science areas. All are equally valid and all offer a wealth of learning opportunities.
For young children all play is work and all work is play, there is no distinction so a day spent playing is a day spent working and a day spent learning.
I just played is the best answer, you know that they will have had an amazing day full of adventures. Just watch they will share them with you when you least expect it.
You can read more about starting school