23 February 2018, TISPC In Touch
Message from The Principal
23 February - Message From The Principal

It’s just playing…...or is it?

Throughout my career so far, I have had a great many conversations in respect of the learning experiences for children aged 4-8 and the onus placed on these year groups as to what is the most appropriate learning style to use. Parents, understandably have a wide range of views based on their background and experiences as to what is the most appropriate way to educate children up to the age of 8 with opinions ranging from an enquiry based approach that involves learning through play to a more traditional model of reading and arithmetic with quantifiable outcomes to demonstrate learning progress. Increasingly, with a shift in the global job market from production line, secondary sector industry careers to tertiary and quaternary sectors enjoying greater dominance, schools have had to respond to these changes and tailor learning accordingly so that children can develop the knowledge and skills to engage with the future workplace. 

In order to do this effectively, many quality schools have moved away from the more structured, rote learning focussed traditional recall based learning models in favour of more enquiry based learning styles. In recent years, greater focus has been placed on the younger years in schools as this is a period in a child’s life where their capacity to learn is at its height and schools have recognised the strong benefits to be drawn from optimising learning for these age groups. A key aspect in optimising learning for the earlier age group is where schools recognise and embrace the importance of play in enabling learning as well as promoting healthy child development and strong parental support links. Writing in the American Academy of Paediatrics Journal in 2007, Kenneth Ginsburg explains that “Play is essential to development because it contributes to the cognitive, physical, social and emotional wellbeing of children and youth.” 

The benefits of a play based curriculum in the foundation stages in particular cannot be overstated and are, as Ginsburg points out, cited by the United Nations High Commission for Human Rights (UNHCHR) as the right of every child. He points out that a well structured, play based curriculum enables children to use and develop creativity, ingenuity, imagination, dexterity, cognitive abilities and emotional strength at a time when their ability to learn across a broad spectrum is at its height.

At TIS Puchong, the concept of learning through play is thoroughly embraced for our younger pupils with children being given “play tasks” to perform that allow them to communicate, enquire, analyse, innovate  so as to solve problems. Some observers may feel that such an approach is simply an expensive childminding exercise but, on closer inspection, may be surprised when gauging the actual skills and abilities that are being developed and how, in later life, these skills will be very much needed to engage with an economy that is currently largely unknown in terms of its demands. 

If you are interested to learn more about the concept and reasoning behind Learning Through Play and the critical nature of Early Years education at TISPC, do make an appointment to come and talk with either Mr. Marco, Ms. Angela or Ms. Zara via <vanitha.batumanathan@pc.tis.edu.my> 
For more information, have a look at these links:

Learning and Teaching Through Play

Ginsburg. K., 2007, The Importance of Play in Promoting Healthy Child Development


Kind regards
David Flint 斐迪偉
Principal of Taylor’s International School Puchong