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Whitecross Nursery School Curriculum

Learning through play

 “Play is freely chosen by the child and is under the control of the child. The child decides how to play, how long to sustain the play, what the play is about and who to play with. There are many forms of play, but it is usually highly creative, open-ended and imaginative. It requires active engagement of the players and can be deeply satisfying.”   A definition of play from National Strategies ‘Learning, Playing and Interacting

Play involves exploration, investigation and children thinking for themselves. They do things in a way meaningful to them and they demonstrate their many skills through their play. It is always creative, with children having and following their own ideas and being more motivated to think things through and so develop alternative ideas. Through independent learning, children develop life skills such as problem-solving, effective communication, perseverance and resilience.

“Play is essential for children’s development, building their confidence as they learn to explore, relate to others, set their own goals and solve problems. Children learn by leading their own play, and by taking part in play which is guided by adults.”  New statutory guidance 1.14 (page 16)

Here at Whitecross adults join in sensitively with children’s chosen play, following their lead and enhancing what is taking place with any comments and suggestions we make. We take time to observe the play to ensure we understand what the children are doing before getting involved.

If you require any additional information on our Curriculum, please contact our school office at