Home   News   How play time is helping North Ayrshire pupils get the best start in life

How play time is helping North Ayrshire pupils get the best start in life

Posted on 18 Jun 2024

North Ayrshire schools will lead the way in ensuring play time forms an important part of the development of our young people.

Play Pedagogy – which ensures that play has a central role in a pupil’s education and development – is now a key element of the curriculum.

A report for North Ayrshire Council’s Cabinet highlighted how play pedagogy has already become embedded within our early years settings and primary schools and will continue to develop in the years to come.

Andrew McClelland, Head of Service (Education), said: “Incorporating meaningful play into our curriculum fosters real social, emotional and cognitive development for our young people.

“As well as allowing children to engage actively with their education, it enhances problem-solving skills and critical thinking.

“Furthermore, play reduces stress and anxiety, contributing to better mental health and allowing children to become more physically active.

“Educational establishments adopting play pedagogy can create dynamic and inclusive learning environments, with the aim of helping our children to perform better academically and develop crucial life skills.”

Studies show that Play Pedagogy engages children in learning, encouraging autonomy and motivation and developing confident individuals.

North Ayrshire has already undertaken work to introduce Play Pedagogy and the Council’s Professional Learning Academy (PLA) has been at the forefront of introducing Play Pedagogy for our young people.

The central team in the PLA have undertaken training at a national level to ensure they have sound pedagogical knowledge and skills to provide training and support for early adopters of play in some of our schools.

The PLA staff also worked alongside our Early Years central team benefitting from their experience and knowledge.

All primary schools will have received training and support in Play Pedagogy by June 2024 and the service will be enhanced in years to come with the development of a three-year strategic plan for extending play pedagogy across all primary schools.