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The Role of the Practitioner in Providing Play and Learning Opportunities Essay

Section A: the role of the practitioner in providing play and learning opportunities. E1- Collate evidence which describes the role of the practitioner in meeting children’s learning needs. Case study 1 – Mark – a 2 year old boy The EYFS states that Mark should be developing at certain level for his age and stage. Marks personal, social and emotional development as a unique child, should be that he is interested in others play and starts to join in. As Marks key person I will support him to become confident in interacting with other children and other adults. It is my role to make sure Mark is developing and learning at the correct rate.

Mark has a positive relationship with his mum and dad so as his key person I need to ensure Mark as the opportunity to join in and bond with other children and adults to build positive relationships with more people than his mum and dad. This will help Marks development and confidence as a 2 year old. An Enabling environment for Mark is vital to his development and learning. Mark should have the opportunity to create areas in which children can sit and chat with friends, such as a snug den and cosy spaces as the EYFS states.

As Marks key carer I can help to promote this by providing him with the correct equipment and resources to make activities like this possible. Personal, social and emotional development, focusing on self-confidence and self-awareness. The EYFS states that Mark should ‘Gradually able to engage in pretend play with toys (supports child to understand their own thinking may be different from others)’. Page 10 2012. I will support Mark as his key person to gain confidence in himself and interact with peers around him.

As Mark’s key person if his needs to be supported in separation from his parents was not met then his care needs while at the play group would not be being met. Mark will be made to feel loved and valued as his parents drop him off at the playcentre. This can be a very difficult for many children and at settings children are supported in the correct way. If Mark’s next steps were not planned for Mark would then not develop further. This is why settings and key persons have to plan correctly for each child. My role as a practitioner s to make sure that the planning is correct for Marks likes and interests. Mark enjoys doing art and mark making on paper and then telling you about his picture, he also enjoys doing puzzles and completing them himself this is a sense of achievement for Mark he likes to be praised. He enjoys stacking objects to make towers so we would include all these kinds of activities in Marks planning to ensure that he was happy while at the playcentre as we as learning and developing at the right age and stage for himself.

Case study 2 – Jack- a 3 year old boy The EYFS states that Jacks next steps if he was in a chilcare setting would be ‘Begins to accept the needs of others and can take turns and share resources, sometimes with support from others’. Page 13 2012. To put this into practice Jack needs to be supported in noticing that his mum has other commitments, things such as going to work, tidying the house, washing, cleaning etc. Jack may reaction this way with his mum as he does not get to spend that much time with him mum so when he does see her he craves her attention more than another child would if they was with their mother at home all day.

This could be Jacks way of showing his mum love. Although this can get a bit much more his mother Samantha she should not react to Jacks challenging behaviour by shutting Jack in his room. She needs to support Jack in understand that is not the correct way to behave for her attention. Jack needs support in how he can learn to understand this. ‘Can usually tolerate delay when needs are not immediately met, and understands wishes may not always be met’. Page 13 2012.

If Jacks mum can calmly talk to Jack about the way he behaves and give Jack the attention he requires Jack will learn the correct way to behave to get what he requires. Jacks mum could use a rewards scheme with Jack to enforce positive behaviour. Samantha needs to ensure she concentrates on Jacks positive behaviour instead of reacting to his negative. Jacks needs are not being met and this is why Jack is behaving like this. Jack if requiring his mums attention at any opportunity that he gets.

This is because he does not see his mum that much as she works all week and all day. Jacks mum could encourage his child-minder to enforce positive behaviour with Jack and to do the reward system at the child-minders as well as at home. This would help Jack not to get confused with being able to behave differently in different environments. As a practitioners I would first suggest to reward system with Jack I would also recommend taking part in calm activities when he arrives home from the child-minders such a puzzles and books to keep Jack calm before going to bed.

A1 – Include a reflective account of the role of the practitioner in supporting the learning needs of children. In the childcare setting I supported a child’s learning need by helping them to bond and communicate with other children and other members of staff. This child became particularly attached to one member of safe and it was becoming unhealthy. Sometime it would be to the point where is the member of staff left the room the child would stand at the door and cry until they came back. I supported this child by distracting the child with toys and activities that they liked.

I built a good bond and relationship with the child which drew their attention away from the other member of staff. The role of the practitioner is to do regular assessments on their development and learning to identify their progress and plan their next steps. Another role of the practitioner is to work professionally and responsibly such as to work as part of the team, work with parents and partners, participate in providing an environment that is welcoming and stimulating and to meet the learning needs of each individual child by providing a range of activities and experiences Tassoni, et . l, (2007). Following policies and procedures is another role of the practitioner they help practitioners to carry out responsibilities and ensure that everyone in the setting including children, parents, staff and other professionals remain safe. Examples of policies are Health and Safety policy, Equal Opportunities policy, Behaviour Management policy and Child Protection policy Tassoni, et . al, (2007). Section B: Play and Learning E2- Provide information about current influences on play. When planning for children there are a number of different tasks that have to be done.

This is so that the practice is good when planning activities for children. All professionals working with children should look at observations and assessments of children as an essential part of their practice. The EYFS framework suggests that observing and assessing children as a look listen and note is an effective way to see children’s development. The way they do this is look – by watching what children do in a variety of situations and environments. The wet play area in placement is all planned for it is planned so that the children can have access to play at the activity when they please.

It is the same for sand play and also for the outdoor free flow, this is so that the children can make their own choices to play with what they want and who they want. Piaget believed that children need to be active in their learning so the more choices children have the more active they are. I have seen Piaget’s theory in placement as the setting has many different choices for the children such as home corner, sand and water play, outdoor free flow, creative and construction. The activities change on a day to day basis.

Listen- is listening to children, listening to the child’s parents, listening to colleagues, and listening to other professional. Note- is recording observations, ranging from short notes to a more formal recording and putting this in the child’s file. ‘Observe children as they act and interact in their play, everyday activities and planned activities, and learn from parents about what the child does at home’ Development matter in the early years foundation 2012, page 3

E3- Provide information about current influences on the planning and provision of learning opportunities. Long, medium and short term planning. Long term planning – Long term planning is a plan made by staff. All practitioners should be aware of how the daily routines and how the inside and outside environment provide children with opportunities for developing. The prime areas of learning and developing are personal, social and emotional development. It is recommended that a folder is kept containing proof of your long term planning this would include the routines, areas of the environment and activities or experiences that children enjoy on a regular, if not every day basis.

Children gain a range of knowledge, skills and attitudes that children learn by taking part in a regular routine. Long term planning is a year ahead including celebrations and events, planning trips and topics for throughout the year. Long term planning are realistic targets that are set for a setting to meet by the end of the year. The long term planning would include making sure they had the correct amount of staff, ensuring they have all equipment and resources needed for activities and making sure that staff ratios are correct for the whole year.

If this is not completed settings would be very unorganised as it is a guide to the up and coming year. Parents are also included in the planning and some settings even display the planning for parents to see. Medium term planning –Medium term planning is to plan for the month and it should reflect settling in, it could be the seasons and time of year, festivals and celebrations, favourite stories and the interests of the children within that setting. Displays should also be in connection with the medium term plans.

The topics that get chosen for each month are then broken down into more detail. The setting would plan to have a topic each month which would be connected to that month. For example in March the topic could be mother’s day. Children’s areas of learning would also be linked into the planning. Short term planning – Short term planning is to plan for each individual child which is based on the observations to recognise their development and learning which relates to the medium term plans. Settings must have meetings regularly to discuss planning.

All practitioners must attend as each practitioner would work with the children at some point during each week. For example a short term plan would be a song of the week; I have seen this in practice while at placement. Short term plans are often displayed in settings for parents and carers to see, short term planning can change from day to day as the setting have to meet each child’s individual needs. By this I mean a child could have an allergy to oats and the planning reads that the children were going to take part in a cooking activity and cook flapjacks.

The planning would then slightly change for this child’s needs. A range of approaches are used to plan for the different care and learning needs for all children the approaches could be: the planning cycle, routines, learning journeys, PLODs, learning styles, care plans, long, medium and short term plans The planning cycle is an approach that may be used to find out relevant information about the child. The planning cycle can help you plan and control activities, planning this way helps you to look at any mistakes that are made and can stop you making them again.

In the New EYFS it says ‘where appropriate, use the development statements to identify possible areas in which to challenge and extend the child’s current learning and development (planning). Routines for children are very important; the day could have set times for breakfast, nappy changing, play, snack, lunch, more free play and home at a specific time. The child needs a structured day to help them feel valued and cared for. A routine helps children to feel safe, they soon become used to the routine and are able to feel relaxed and enjoy each day.

Parents may like their child to have a nap at a certain time of the day as it is part of their routine. Routine will also help the learning of the child. Maria Montessori Maria Montessori believed in a child’s independence. It was her goal to be able to help a child become independent and for them to be able to things for themselves. This is achieved by giving children opportunities, opportunities to move, dress themselves, choose what they want to do and to help adults with tasks. When children are able to do things for themselves they gain self-belief, self-confidence and esteem which they will carry through their lives. Never help a child with a task at which he feels he can succeed. ” – Maria Montessori. Observing and watching children can be done for countless hours just to see how children are enjoying themselves. Letting children explore the environment was how Maria Montessori developed her theory.

Observation is also the way adults can learn about what the child needs are. For example, if a child starts banging on objects, it means that he has a need for that gross motor activity, so give him a drum. If hildren are pushing things around the room and they need to walk but can’t do it themselves yet, help them or give them a wheeled toy to push. This is how observation can help create harmony, fulfilling the child’s current needs. Children make mistakes. They may spill something, drop food by accident and other mistakes. There is no need to raise your voice. Instead, calmly recognise the mistake “oh you’ve spilled the water…, why don’t we get a cloth and wipe it up. ” This is an opportunity to ask the child to do some practical work with you.

You will find that children do like to clean up as they see it as something adults do. There is no need to point out a child’s mistake; there is a way to make them realise it. For example, with a cloth bib a child who is learning how drink from a glass will find out that if he tips the glass a bit too early, the water will spill on him and he will feel it. If they do not say a word correctly, there is no need to correct them, but say the word correctly. Correcting children may result in them being scared to attempt anything in fear of making another mistake.

Children will make mistakes and we need to teach them in a nice manner. “The teacher’s first duty is to watch over the environment, and this takes precedence over all the rest. It’s influence is indirect, but unless it be well done there will be no effective and permanent results of any kind, physical, intellectual or spiritual. ” – Maria Montessori. Forest Schools All sessions are designed around the needs of your group; make sure that they are learner-led. Sessions are designed around a theme, themes are sometimes exploring the site or more obvious such as Romans, butterflies, spies, fairies or nature investigators.

Many areas of the National Curriculum Foundation in the Forest Schools experience without the programmes needing to be curriculum led. Set up your activities so they are within the capabilities of every person within the group, small achievable tasks. Teamwork skills are developed through games and activities. Individual skills and self-esteem are made throughout activities such as hide and seek, shelter building, tool skills, lighting fires or environmental art, the list is endless. Each activity develops intra and inter-personal skills as well as practical and intellectual skills.

Tools are used in Forest Schools in a traditional woodland manner and are introduced gradually with a structured safety base that your children become familiar with. The use of tools in the wood promotes trust and self-confidence within those taking part; their use will develop both gross and fine motor skills. As a level 3 practitioner you will constantly evaluate individuals progressions and re-adjusted throughout the day to meet each child’s requirements, at the end of the day you will carry out a final review. This is a very important part of the day.

The children could be asked to shout out, draw, act or play a game to review the day they have just experience, reflecting about what they have done during the day. You will be responsible for enabling the children to apply this to the rest of their everyday lives. E4- Include examples of different theoretical models of how children play and learn. Piaget believed that children used objects such as role play clothing and hats in more than one way. In both play and deferred imitation, the child is learning about symbols, or the child is learning that one thing can stand for something else.

The child would put on a hat and would pretend to be a cowboy or a railroad man. The hat is the symbol for the role. Play itself is a symbolic representation of the child’s own inner world. Vygotsky believed that play is a means of deferring immediate gratification, instead of tantrums or swallowing the need, the child fulfils needs in fantasy play. He also believed that children learn to live within self imposed rules during their fantasy play; play allows the child to practice self regulation. Vygotsky said that play was vehicle for a child behaving more maturely than at other times. In play it is as though he were a head taller than himself. ” In fantasy play children can work at the top of their Zone of Proximal Development. Like Piaget, Bruner believed that children have an innate capacity that helps them make sense of the work and that cognitive abilities develop through active interaction. Unlike Piaget however, Bruner argued that social factors, particularly language, were important for cognitive growth. These underpin the concept of ‘scaffolding’. Bruner was also concerned with how knowledge is represented and organised through different modes of representation.


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