At Tops, we have implemented ‘SchemaPlay’ across all of our settings to help narrow the gap for any children showing signs of delay and to also enhance the learning experiences for all children that attend our settings.
What is SchemaPlay?
Does your child like enclosing themselves in boxes or hiding under blankets? Do they often transport things from one place to another or seem fascinated with filling and emptying containers? These are all normal behaviours / action schemes that children apply in their play and we can use these schemes to enhance the children’s learning and development.
All children also have interests / schemas, perhaps dinosaurs, animals, princesses, superhero’s and combining our knowledge of child development, their schemas with their schemes and a bond with their key workers is how Tops children develop so well.
SchemaPlay is a pedagogy, a style of teaching. It is a way of delivering early years education by tuning into children’s current interests and schemes and using these to plan suitable activities to enhance children’s learning and development.
This means that at Tops Day Nurseries you can be rest assured that we will be planning exciting and challenging experiences that your child will be interested in, which in turn will be stimulating their learning to help them grow and develop.
So, how do we support SchemaPlay at Tops?
To support SchemaPlay it is important that our children are given extended periods of time (minimum 2 hours), to immerse themselves in their self-chosen free flow play; this allows the children to really get involved in their learning without disruptions, and also gives our skilled educators the required time to observe children in their self-chosen play, identifying what and how the children are exploring in order to plan for and facilitate the next steps in their learning.
In self-chosen free play, children show us what they know and what they can do and by observing these actions, our teachers can plan focused activities to build upon this current knowledge and ability. If a child’s free flow play is interrupted, then the cycle of learning can be broken and this can hinder children’s ability to progress in their learning.
If children are only attending for short sessions or their play is regularly being interrupted by the constant traffic of children arriving and leaving, this limits our window of opportunity to really observe what children are doing, in order to help them progress with their learning. We understand that sometimes this is unavoidable and nursery hours need to fit in around family life, however, where possible we are encouraging static sessions for children to have limited interruptions and our new daily structure support this.