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Early years and play research


Outdoor play and learning can make an important contribution to helping children make the transition from early years education into primary school, a research project funded by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) has concluded.

The researchers from Plymouth University, the University of St Mark and St John and the Institute of Education, argue outdoor lessons and free play offer opportunities for children to learn independently, something which has become less common as schools focus on attainment and pupil testing.

The lead researcher, Sue Waite, said: ‘Outdoor learning had a different quality from the teacher-led lessons which took place in the classroom. Outdoor spaces offer opportunities for children to be more creative, inquiring and socially skilled, as they can pursue their own lines of interest and talk together.’

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