Infant education has been changing over the last couple of decades to a more play-based child-led curriculum. However, classrooms have not.
Recently, we held a “Day of Play” where children had the freedom of unstructured play all day. What I noticed about how the infants worked through the day was how they automatically moved their play outside of the classroom into the corridors to create extra play zones. It struck me that the only thing that was interfering with their day was the number of walls in their way. I thought to myself, if there was a way to tear down the walls between the two classrooms and the corridor (and even some way to make it easier to access the outside) we could have a huge area that could be a wonderful learning space.
While I know the likelihood of this happening in the short term is a pipe dream, the DES could start making plans to making it happen. Could neighbouring schools amalgamate and the infants’ side be converted into a better design? Could all new school buildings have better designs for infants? Could existing schools begin to see ways to convert existing spaces into more infant-friendly zones?
Ideally, this would not be confined to infants but it’s a good start!