P1ayschool at Canal View is a pioneering P1 setting which uses research-driven practice to provide the best possible start to learning for our youngest children.
The setting is primarily play-based which means that we carefully create places to play which give children the chance to explore and learn independently. At the same time an expanded staff team of three experienced teachers, an early years practitioner and a pupil support assistant provide short, targeted sessions of direct teaching to small groups and individuals which are pitched at exactly the right level for each child to ensure support, progress and challenge across the curriculum.
The expansion of our team, supported by the Scottish Government’s Pupil Equity Fund, means that our interactions with the children can be in much smaller groups and that our knowledge of each child’s development is detailed and exact. As such we are able to target our teaching to give children exactly what they need to ensure progress for every learner.
Each day every child receives targeted teaching in literacy and numeracy along with opportunities for play which support and consolidate their learning. We also provide interdisciplinary learning through project/topic themes derived from the children’s interests and questions.
Allowing the children to play and learn independently across our four spaces (3 indoor, 1 outdoor) fosters creativity, problem solving, physical development including gross and fine motor skills (essential for literacy development) and social and emotional development as the children experience connection with their peers and learn to negotiate, discuss and engage with each other thought out the day.
We have seen the most extraordinary changes in the first few months of this project especially in children for whom a traditional formal P1 setting, even one of the highest quality, would have been exceedingly challenging. Children are learning, progressing, experiencing challenge and undergoing rapid physical and social development. They are thriving and flourishing and they love coming to school.
Here is a short video showing some of the wonderful learning through play and targeted input happening in our P1 classes this year.