Toby rarely engaged with the activities that were presented to him in the setting. He had a scheme of ‘transporting’, and had acquired a schema (a figurative knowledge) of the role played by an adult working in a recycling centre.
When a practitioner saw how they could build upon his transporting and offered him the opportunity to set up his own recycling centre in the outdoor play area Toby went from transporting objects to learning how to sort objects, his mark making developed, he learnt how to record the quantities of objects being recycled and the names of the people recycling. Importantly, he felt in control of his play, he was in free flow, and he recognised his own achievements.
He directed his peers to different buckets depending upon what they wanted to recycle, and he recorded what was being recycled by drawing tally lines. He was in charge, ensuring that only householders were using the free facility, and he was making significant progress towards the EYFS learning outcomes.
Check out these articles on the subject of schema:
Extend schemas to make children feel empowered
A project in Walsall highlights how practitioners are successfully building upon children’s favoured schemes and schema to build in new challenges, extend learning and improve EYFS outcomes.
Schemas: Free flow play
The first of a three-part series that aims to put the schema back into ‘Schema Theory and Practice’; here we provide a summary account of the cognitive processes of learning and why free flow play works.
Find out more about the SchemaPlay conference on 1 May 2019 – www.schemaplay.com/sp2019.html