Qualification: NCFE CACHE Level 3 Diploma for the Early Years Educator
Unit: Unit 3.3: Apply theoretical perspectives and philosophical approaches to play
Learning outcome: Be able to apply theoretical knowledge in own practice
Assessment criteria: Create a plan using theoretical perspectives on play to support the developmental stage, needs and interests of children aged: 0-1 year 11 months, 2-2 years 11 months, 3-5 years
For this assessment criterion, you will be required to use your knowledge of theoretical approaches to play to create plans that support the developmental stage, needs and interests of children in different age groups.
During the planning process, it is essential that you take into consideration each child’s unique interests, which you will have learned from your observations and experience working with them.
Similarly, you will need to take into account each child’s unique needs to ensure that principles of inclusion are adhered to.
And, of course, you should also cater for the age and stage of development of the child.
The three age groups that you will be planning for are:
- 0 to 1 year and 11 months (essentially 0 to 2-year-olds)
- 2 to 2 years and 11 months (essentially 2 to 3-year-olds)
- 3 to 5 years
Below, we have provided some examples of how you might use theoretical approaches to inform your planning.
0 to 2 years
Piaget classified the ages 0-2 years as the Sensorimotor stage and described it as a time when babies and toddlers learn by exploring their environment with their senses and motor skills.
Therefore, you may consider providing children with rattles or drums to help them to practice gross motor skills whilst using their sense of hearing to make sounds.
2 to 3 years
Vygotsky’s Zone of Proximal Development suggests that a child can only learn so much on their own and there comes a point when they require intervention from others to move to the next level.
Suppose you have observed a child transporting blocks (one at a time) from one area of the setting to another. In that case, you may consider intervening to show them that they could move several blocks simultaneously using a container, such as a bucket, trolley or bag.
3 to 5 years
Athey’s schemas are repeatable patterns of behaviour that children carry out to master a skill.
If you have observed several children participating in trajectory schemas (e.g. throwing balls or bean bags) you might plan an activity that combines this schema with a rules-based game, such as throwing bean bags into a bucket. This will help support the children’s social development as they play together, as well as introduce new concepts, such as taking turns.