CMNetwork E-bulletin: June 2009

    © Copyright M. Worthington & E. Carruthers 2012

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The importance of play

It’s encouraging to see that the recently published ‘Rose Review’ of the Primary curriculum places emphasis on the need to continue to provide opportunities for play. The following quotes are taken directly from the report:

  • Play is not a trivial pursuit. Drawing on a robust evidence base, the interim report highlighted the importance of learning through play, particularly for young children. The purposes of play in promoting learning and development should be made explicit and planned opportunities made to fulfil them in the primary curriculum’
  • ‘In the early primary stage the proposed curriculum dovetails easily with the six broad areas of learning and development in the EYFS. This allows more opportunities for extending and building upon active, play-based learning across the transition to primary education, particularly for ‘summer-born’ children and those still working towards the early learning goals.
  • …considerable flexibility, for example to strengthen learning through play and strongly support young children’s progress and wellbeing over the three highly formative years linking pre-school provision with the Reception Year and into Year 1
  •  (DCSF, 2009).

Why Children need to Play in School Alliance for Childhood

Graphic of the month

The Baby Clinic Visit and role play (reception, 4-5 years)

Visiting the local Baby Clinic, the children watched as Health Visitors weighed babies and recorded their weights on charts and in books, and listened to discussions about their progress. On their return to school some rich, symbolic play developed spontaneously, supported by a real set of baby-weighing scales their teacher had borrowed.

Over several days, a piece of paper on which one child made marks was added to by others. Their graphics show that:

  • They understood that adult use written marks and symbols for specific purposes
  •  They drew on their knowledge of symbols, including approximations of letters and numerals they have seen.
Some children used the initial letter of their name or their age number to stand for what they said.

During their play the children freely used language of measurement such as ‘heavy’, ‘this big’, ‘three long’ and ‘getting bigger’ and general comments and questions such as ‘How’s your baby doing?’ as they weighed dolls and teddies. The conversations between health professionals and mothers and their purposeful writing had made an impression and the children were able to integrate their experiences into their play.

Written number and quantities

  • Early written numerals
  • Numerals as labels

See:  taxonomy of development

Link to Graphics of Past Months

Welcome to new members

From the South and South West welcome to: Helen Carter, The Firs, Newbury; Karen Cartwright, Sacred Heart RC Primary School, Paignton; Dawn Channon, Sherwell Valley Primary School & Homelands Primary School, Torbay;  Becky Cummins, Homelands Primary School, Torbay; Nichola Day, Sacred Heart RC Primary School, Paignton; Alex Rogers, Fairfield School, Blackwell, N. Somerset; Jo Thomas, Priory RC Primary School, Torquay; Catherine Willcocks, Collaton St Mary Primary School, Torbay; Karen Young, Roselands Primary School, Torbay. From the South and South East we would like to welcome Charlotte Peppard, Paulsgrove Primary School, Portsmouth; and from the Midlands and East Anglia welcome to Shelagh Swallow, St John's Infant School, Norwich. From London – welcome to Jenny Griffiths, Lambeth and  Faith Jenkins, Kensington and Chelsea. From Northern Ireland welcome to Ruth Greenaway, Kilcoan Primary School, Islandmagee, Larne.


  • We welcome new members – wherever you are!  Perhaps you will become the first member in your part of the UK – or the first member from your country?
  • There is currently no fee to become a member of the Children’s Mathematics Network.


New! Reports 2009


For 2008 - 2009


May 2009

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