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Nord Anglia
04 October, 2019

Learning through play

Learning through play BVIS has invested greatly in its Early Years department, creating an engaging environment that promotes play, exploration and hands on learning. DSC_8233

BVIS has invested greatly in its Early Years department, creating an engaging environment that promotes play, exploration and hands on learning, all of which are at the core of an effective Early Years.

Scientific research has shown that the most important period of human development is from birth to eight years old. Between the ages of 3-5 years, children’s language, social-emotional and cognitive skills are rapidly expanding. During this period, the learning that come from play and interacting with other children and adults, both at home and in quality early education settings, is essential. Play enables children to explore and make sense of the world around them, as well as develop their imagination and creativity. In fact, play is one of the most important ways in which young children gain essential knowledge and skills.

BVIS has created large, open classrooms and learning areas that flow through each other, allowing children to take ownership and make their own choices in their learning. Early Years settings should enable children to take on an active role and ownership in their experiences, as well as recognising and trusting children to be capable, independent, and in control of their own playful learning journeys. By creating these open spaces, BVIS is ensuring that children are given the opportunity to guide their own learning, take initiative and become effective decision-makers and problem-solvers.


BVIS has given the Early Years outdoor space a full makeover, creating a safe, engaging space for children to explore and learn. This specially designed space gives children opportunities to interact with nature, explore and make connections with what they know. Children play to make sense of the world around them, and to find meaning by connecting it to something already known. In our outdoor space, children express and expand their understanding of their experiences by playing on a big scale. Children are ‘hands-on’ learners and they need a lot of practice with solid objects to understand abstract concepts which can be seen in our outdoor learning environment. For example, by playing with large geometric blocks they understand the concept that two squares can form a rectangle and two triangles can form a square. From making a giant obstacle course with a pattern, they begin to understand the features of patterns that are the foundation for mathematics. Pretend play, in our sandpit, play-houses and mud kitchen, give children opportunities to express their ideas, thoughts and feelings, learn how to control their emotions, interact with others and resolve conflicts.

Play satisfies a basic human need to express imagination, curiosity and creativity. These critical skills that children acquire through play in the Early Years form part of the fundamental building blocks for becoming effective learners in the 21st century.