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PLaNS Research

Working with children in Y1, Y3 and Y5, the implementation of playful activities in classrooms lasted for one school year, beginning in September 2013. The project team worked with three teachers from each year group, making a total of nine teachers in all. A sample of twelve children from each class was selected (six extension and six support in relation to literacy levels).

The aim was to work collaboratively, with the nine teachers involved as co-researchers, fitting the research activities around teachers’ existing patterns of working, as well as the particular needs, interests and abilities of the children in their class.

Participant teachers were part of a learning community with other teachers involved in the project and the research staff at the Faculty of Education. Meetings were carried out during the implementation of the project with the purpose of discussing children’s writing skills, devising classroom activities, sharing and reflecting upon teaching experiences as the project unfolded.

The research team assessed the impact of this teaching approach on children’s narrative and writing skills by collecting pre and post measures of children’s writing skills and other related skills such as language, playfulness and self-regulation.

Whitebread, D. Jameson, H. & Basilio, M. (2015). Play beyond the Foundation Stage: play, self-regulation and narrative skills. In J. Moyles (Ed.) The Excellence of Play, 4th Ed. (pp. 84-93). Maidenhead: Open University Press.