Play is an important feature of learning here at JB. From Preschool to Year 2, our students' learning is supported by providing opportunities to play. We consider Preschool, Reception and Year 1 to be our kindergarten years and we adopt a very play-based approach to learning.
A significant focus for us in these years is on the personal and physical development of children along with developing their language and ability to communicate. These are considered the prime areas of learning for our youngest students and play is critical to their development at this age. As children move to Year 2, we continue to offer opportunities for children to learn through play to ensure a smooth transition whilst also introducing more whole class teaching alongside small group teaching. We have very strong beliefs on the importance of play and we see that this approach is key to allowing our children to flourish.
One of the most amazing learning opportunities within play is block play. This type of play is very popular with all students up to Year 2. Block play has the potential to add enormous value to a child’s learning experience. Children construct using their imaginations and creativity. The feelings of success they experience help build their self esteem. Block play encourages children to take turns, share and collaborate. There are countless opportunities for problem-solving as children think about what they want to build and how they will go about doing it. Children will develop their mathematical understanding and vocabulary as they may have to consider balance and symmetry whilst also measuring, comparing and estimating.
Children will move through various stages of block play. They may begin initially building simple rows and towers, moving onto bridges and enclosures before building more complicated and elaborate structures, giving more thought to design and including symmetry and balance.
Our learning environments are full of opportunities for students to learn through block play as they include a wealth of attractive and exciting building materials. Our staff recognise the potential impact of block play on learning and skillfully support and challenge students as they build. Learning through this type of play is one of the standout features within our youngest years and our students amaze us every week with the imaginative creations they build.