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Examination of how childminders promote outdoor play through the Early Years Foundation Stage Curriculum”

This research seeks to explore outdoor play for children in the Early Years Foundation Stage. The analysis draws on data are based on how outdoor play supports the three Prime areas of the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS). Narrative and tracking observational methods were used at a childminding setting, and other outdoor settings such as childminding setting were documented through written and video recording of children.  Qualitative data approach is chosen as the method of collecting data from other childcare professional bodies and parents. This research study has proved that outdoor play in the early years can years can be beneficial for children’s  Physical, health, Social, emotional, language and communication development.
In recent years, there has been growing concerns as to how the opportunities of outdoor play has decreased significantly in the United Kingdom. In response to such concern, government policy, especially the introduction of the EYFS in 2008 required early years setting to review the provision of the outdoor learning area for children.  This research on UK outdoor play and how it supports the three Prime Area of the Early Years Foundation Stage Curriculum ( EYFS, 2012), namely Personal, Social and Emotional Development (PSED),  Communication and Language(CL) and Physical Development (PD). Therefore, the purpose of carrying this research is to explore fully and understand the content of outdoor play as part of supporting, implementing and achieving the EYFS curriculum through outdoor play.
As a child growing up in Africa, Outdoor play was the norm. The outdoor environment in itself was extremely rich in nature such as dust, woods, trees, fresh air and different types of noises that gave me the opportunities to re-echo what they have heard.   The environment provided the freedom for free physical play, promoted positive relationships and socialisation with other children, without the fear of being hurt or terrorised. The aims and objectives of this study will seek to evaluate secondary literature, government policies and best practice guidance on outdoor play and how it supports children’s learning and development.  Furthermore, a primary research will be conducted on this topic. Conclusion and recommendations will be made as to how outdoor play can be promoted in early years settings.
RESEARCH QUESTION: How does outdoor play support the Prime Area of the Early Years Foundation (EYFS) Stage Curriculum?
Literature review:
Historical Perspectives:
The importance of children’s outdoor play experiences continues to play a significant role in changing pedagogical thinking and socio-political. In the 19th Century, Froebel (1782-1852) came up with the terminology “Kindergarten, which means “Children’s Garden” (Bilton 2005), a place wherein a child can develop in harmony with nature.(Tovey, 2007 playing outdoors).
In the UK, little or no attention was given to the outdoor play, unless it was for the purpose of the children to “let off steam” (Garrick 2009. It was also noted that children were spending less time outside (Ouvry, 2003) However, Margaret McMillan, together with her sister Rachel MacMillan, raised awareness on the benefits of outdoor and how it can improve children’s physical, health and learning development (Bilton 2015). Thus, in 1914, the Macmillan sisters established an open-air nursery school and training centre in Peckham. In comparison, other academic researchers such as Susan Isaacs(1930), Reggio Emilia ( Malaguzzi 1993), Rudolph Steiner (1922) Maria Montessori (1912) and Majorie Allen (1968), linked  the benefits of outdoor play as means of extending children’s cognitive, emotional and social development (Garick 2009). Unfortunately, these pedagogies did not successfully make an impact on the educational approach in the United Kingdom, during the 20th century.  The primary focus was placed in the indoor learning (Maynard 2007) and not on the outdoor learning [which] is an important and integral part of a high -quality early childhood education curriculum” (Taylor & Morris,1997).  This is emphasised by Lasenby (1990,p5) that states  “Outdoor activity should be seen as an integral part of early years provision and ideally should be available to children all the time” .
Notwithstanding, the introduction of the EYFS (DCSF 2007), adapted many of its principles from early pedagogues that are now embedded in the EYFS, which states that ‘Providers must provide access to an outdoor play area’ (DfE 2012, p. 24).
This is not saying that we are to say no to indoor learning, but rather we should be opening them up (Higgins 1995). As the outdoor provides a unique environment (Tovey, 2007) that is natural and provides the freedom of space that cannot be reproduced indoor (Bilton 2004,p. 4).  It is “ideal for an evolving curriculum”( Filer 2008) where all developmental needs can be fostered(Bruce, 2005; Edgington, 2004). Being outdoor offers opportunities for children to do things differently and on different scales than when indoors. It gives children first-hand contact with the natural world and freedom to explore and to also for chilren to e active physically . Hitchin, 2007).
Outdoor plays give children the opportunity to make their own choices of play themes and equipment (Bilton, 2001). Outdoor play should be free flow ( ) as the advantage of free flow play is that children learn that they can release energy make more noise outside and thus meet the adults’ request for being quieter while they are indoors (Neaum et al 2002). In contrast, a scheduled time for outdoor play, could result in too many children that could result in an overcrowded environment. (Dryden et al., 2005).
On the other hand, research has evidenced that not all children learn better outdoor (Edgington, 2002), as some children do not necessary love the outdoor. They resist going outside because they do not enjoy it, causing some of these children to become bored easily and, therefore, tend to stay around the adult who will simply provide them with a supervised role play (Blatchford 1989).
The Statutory framework of the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS 2012), states that “Providers must provide access to an outdoor play area or, if that is not possible, ensure that outdoor activities are planned and taken on a daily basis” (DfE 2012 pg.28). The framework further states that the three prime areas:  Personal Social and Emotional Development(PSED), Communication and Language, and Physical Development (PD),  are particularly crucial for developing children’s curiosity to learn and build relationships and learn (p.7).   Additionally, the  EYFS framework( DfE 2012),  the characteristics of effective learning ‘ Play and Exploration, Active Learning and Critical Thinking,  play an important role to the learning opportunities in the outdoor.
The outdoor area is a “provocative environment” (Tovey 2014) in which children, together with the adult can play and work that can affect emotions, behaviour, personality and the ability to learn (Bilton 2014) how to make relationships, manage their feelings and behaviour (Dfe 2012). These attributes can allow time for relaxation, calmness and a sense of wellbeing (Armstrong 1996).  For such learning to take place, there must be enough space. (Bilton 2014), as overcrowded  can lead to children’s change of behaviour, causing them to be aggressive (Bates 1986).
Socially, the outdoor can teach children how to share and take turns, observing each other, testing and discussing ideas that can enhance their individual development (Filer 2008) as this will enable them to gain awareness of themselves and also awareness of others ( Bruner 1985), while  relating with each other as part of a group (Casey 2010), as this will enable  them to  look out for one another (Beunderman 2010).  Children in the outdoor will also be able to develop the understanding for seeing things through another person’s point of view (Open University 2011).  However, when children are traumatised in the outdoor, they tend to loose their ability to play which can make socialising difficult for them (Lovett 2009).Outdoor play can also help children to overcome cultural and other boundaries, thus giving  them the knowledge that others who they might consider to be different from themselves. Furthermore, outdoor play can also help children with special educational needs and disability, who are prone to social isolation to create bonds with other children. (Dunn et al 2004). In another article, Dunn et al, have identified and discussed the social and environmental barriers to the inclusion of children in the outdoor play. This was argued further by John & Wheway (2004) when they stressed that any strategy, which ignores social barriers but concentrates solely on physical barriers, will be ignoring the real needs of those children that are disabled and their freedom to enjoy outdoor play.
Confidently, Outdoor can increase self –confidence and self-belief and also provide time and space to learn, grow and demonstrate independence (Knight, 2009)
There seems to be lots of emerging research and policy interest in the health and wellbeing outcomes (Sustainable Development Commission, 2008) that have indicated that there exist a direct link between physical activity and children’s health (Hope et al 2007). Physical activity is said to boost brain function, increase learning (Blakemore et al 2005) in children who are in the outdoor. Physical exercise helps build strong bones, muscle strength and lung capacity (Lindon 2007).The hands, ears, eyes, as a matter of fact, the whole body become sources of information (Dewey & Dewey 1915, cited in  Stevens (2015).…. Obviously, outdoor play experiences contribute to children’s physical development, especially their motor skills Hewes et al, as cited by Ritchie (2015) .  It should be a perfect place whereby children can learn through movement (Armstrong 1996). This will help children to develop their coordination, control and movement and help them to understand the importance of physical activity (DfE, 2012 p.8) which will help them to test their  internal and external strength.  Resources for such movement should help to develop an inclusive environment in relation to school readiness and the daily opportunities to develop their whole bodies (Lindon 2001).  These should include large and small apparatus, have room for ring games, balls, hoops, balancing beams, barrels and crates (Neaum & Tallack 2002). It should also differentiate for children of all abilities by offering materials at different heights and complexity. (Lindon 2001). These experiences are essential for developing core strength which in turns promotes the development of the brain and the central nervous system. Therefore, practitioners need to re-engage children with the world, using all of their senses (Stevens 2015) and until the organisation and management of outdoor is right, then little learning will occur (Bilton 2014).
There seems to be barely sufficient evidence and information about outdoor play, communication and language development (Beaver et al1999).  However, It could be argued that the outdoor play area is a complete learning environment, which does not just cater for a child’s physical needs but can also provide opportunities for talking and listening and which supports language development and social and intellectual learning (Kennedy et al 2001).   One of the primary function of children playing together is to develop their language skills (Wood and Bennett, 1997). As children in the UK, who are now growing in a multicultural world, outdoor play can support children who has English as Additional Language (EAL) and help children to have experiment with language in ways that are not culturally bound (Bruce 2001).The outdoor can encourage children to demonstrate the willingness to have a go at something that is of importance to their learning disposition (Katz 1995). Similarly, the statutory framework, lay emphasis on children’s understanding, listening and speaking development (Dfe 2012), as these will provide opportunities for children to enhance their vocabulary and understand different concepts (Zigler 2009).  Furthermore, the outdoor environment may even be the only time when children can really hear and focus. As such will help children to exercise their minds, in addition to their muscles. (Ouvry 2000).
It is also suggested that the outside environment should be used to promote education regardless of the weather (Davis 2004). It is also noted that since the introduction of the EYFS, ‘early year’s practitioners have a clearer understanding of how outdoor play can stimulate and help in promoting learning. (Thomson 2009). That the benefits of the outdoor learning are clearly not confined to children only but also to the adults, who noted that there are positive relationships with children, benefits of . Similarly, One of the four guiding principles of the EYFS (2014), says that children learn and develop well in enabling environments, in which their experiences respond to their individual needs, and there is a strong partnership between practitioners and parents (DfE 2014).
According to Brundenell et al. (2008),  a methodology is a theoretical approach used to get knowledge through research.  Similarly and as suggested by Roberts-Holmes (2005), ‘Methodology refers to the principles and values, philosophies and ideologies that underpin your research’ (RobertsHolmes, 2005: 21).


Before carrying out this research, it was of vital importance that the different research methods, mainly Quantitative and Qualitative research methods were looked at in-depth, so as to decide whether one or both could be appropriate for this research. After series of critically examining different research methods from theoretical experiences and perspectives, with comparison to the topic study, qualitative method has been mainly chosen over quantitative method.  This chosen approach will help the researcher to fully explore the experiences and feelings of the participants, while focusing on the emphasis to understand and describe the main  issues involved  This is supported by  Creswell (2013), when he defines qualitative research as understanding the meaning that individual or groups give to a social or human problem (Creswell 2013). Therefore, collecting descriptive and in –depth data on how outdoor play supports the three prime area of the Early Years Foundation curriculum, seems to sit well within this research approach.
On the other hand, Quantitative data is used so as to generate numerical data as this is classified by measures and experiments. Though this may make the research easier to analyse, the disadvantage with this method, for this research is that a larger number of participants will be needed to partake in this research, so as to have a true representation so as to prove if this hypothesis is true or not. None the less, a very small scale of quantitative data will be used so as to give an exact numerical findings.

1 Design Paradigm

Furthermore, in order to explore deeply and understand the purpose of the research, an interpretivist rather than a positivist paradigm will be used for this research. An interpretivist paradigm will be used so as to gain an insight of other people’s believe  and experiences in association with the qualitative  data (Densombe 2010) as it is also a key method in exploring and understanding rather than explaining. Interpretivist validity and triangulation will also be used for this research because ‘Interpretivist compared to positivist researchers tend not to generalise from their research and have smaller sample sizes than positivist research’ (Robert-Holmes, G, 2005: 40). Furthermore a positivist paradigm has an underpinning rationale described by Cohen et al (2000) reflects an underlying rationale ‘that can be   predetermined and predictable (Cohen, 2000:32) and therefore it cannot be linked  with the child centred methodological principles of this study.
Triangulation involves using multiple data sources in an investigation to produce understanding and avoid over generalisation as this adds to the strength and credibility of the findings (Dwyer, 2012). Triangulations or mixed research methods will give the researcher the opportunity to deal with more complicated research questions (Yin 2009)  which when analysed , can give a fuller picture of the object of the research. To ensure validity in qualitative research it is essential to have transparency of both theoretical and process to ensure the context, method and theoretical framework of the research is explicit. Silverman (2006: 282).  Triangulation will check out the consistency of findings that will be generated by different data collections (Patton,1999) and understand another  person’s views (Cortvriend, 2008) through interviews, questionnaires, observations etc.  Unlike triangulation which uses different data sources to help facilitate a deeper and rich understanding, a single method will not be adequate in providing a such deeper understanding.
Sampling is an integral part of methodology.  It is the process by which a group of people, behaviour or event is selected to conduct a research (Burns et Grove 2003).  It is a representation of the population as a whole. (Polit et al 2001) .The sample size for this study is on a small scale. Notwithstanding, this should not affect  the importance of the research study  as there are no guidelines  in determining sample size in a qualitative research (Holloway et al 2013),   The samples will be purposively selected from participants who work in a childminding setting and may share the same working experience and specific knowledge of the study topic. These childminders as participants are independent childcare providers and   adhere to the statutory Framework of the EYFS. Geographically, these sample will select participants   both locally and nationwide,.
4.3 QUESTIONNAIRES Survey: To test current practice against the specific Literature reviews above,  data will be collected through questionnaires that will be sent online to other childcare Practitioners who may share their views on outdoor play and how children’s level of learning is being developed physically, emotionally, socially, cognitively through outdoor play.  The questions will mainly be open ended with one or two specific questions.
Interviews will be another method that will be used, as it will produce rich data, that can be analysed in different ways.
The interviews will be conducted as a face to face and also by means of telephone calls., as this will open opportunities for conversation, allows for questioning and discussion in depth The face to face interviewOne reason for the telephone interviews is that research has shown that people are honest and open on the telephone than they would normally do on a face to face interview (Dillman et al 2009).   The depth of the meaning of the telephone interview is important and the research. The telephone interview will also enable the research to target other geographical areas and also have some benefits in terms of time and cost (Densombe 2010).  This is in preference to a postal Interview that may not be cost and time effective and the reliability of the postal interview reaching the participant may not be justified. All interviews will be done individually so as to give participants the opportunity to express themselves freely. A group discussion may not be appropriate for such research as some participants may be extrovert and may have a great influence on the outcome of the findings., even though there may be common thoughts . Moreso, It may not be feasible to take notes, which may affect the reliability of data.
Both the questionnaires and  Interviews will be in a form of a targeted data , , as this will ask  the participants specific but open ended questions, without being limited  by a pre-destined choices.   These will also be conducted in a semi structure approach, as this will enable each participants to answer exactly the same question and in the same order.  It will also allow the
Empirically, observations will be conducted on children aged between nine months to four years old, who would normally attend the childminder’s setting on a daily basis. Informal chat with children may also be carried out so as to explore and give a deeper understanding as to how outdoor play supports children learning in the prime area of the Early Years Foundation Stage Curriculum. Informal chat and assessment will be made, when the children as participants are actively engaged in the outdoor play and interacting with others; As observations in a setting requires good listening skills and careful attention to visual details (Creswell 2002). Such observations and assessment made will be recorded in a narrative and tracking form, using both formative and summative assessment.  There will also be a small element of ethnographical as the researcher works within the setting of where the observation will be taking place, making the researcher to  play  the role as a silent observer in addition to a  being actively involved in the outdoor learning.
Validity 4.6
The moral integrity of this studied research and the researcher is critically important in ensuring that the research process and the findings are valid and trustworthy.  As “trustworthiness is the truth value of a piece of research” Holloway (1997:161), A research project is trustworthy when it reflects the reality and ideas of the participants (Krefting 1991: 214-2190). Streubert and Carpenter (1999:61) agreed further by saying that trustworthiness of the research depends on the extent to which it delves into the participants’ experience apart from their theoretical knowledge.
Ethical Consideration:
This piece of research will comply with the four ethical principles of the Birtish Ethics of Code and Conducts as named by the British Pyschological Society: RESPECT competence; responsibility; and integrity.
Before undertaking this research, it will ensure to seek the knowledge or consent of the participants and that they will not be coerce into participating.  Participants will not be deceived by hiding the true intention from them: Invading their privacy and that all participants will be treated fairly and with due respect.
Ethical status and approval form will be submitted (See appendix 1) to the Course Supervisor or approval.   An informed consent form (Appendix 2) will be sent out and attached to questionnaire surveys (Appendix 3) to all participants, with a full disclosure of the research, informing them about the aim and purpose of the research study and all data collection procedures will be shared with all participants outlining to them, their right to withdraw or not to participate in the research study. They will also informed that all information provided will be treated in a confidential manner and not given to anyone else.  A parental consent form has been obtained by the children who will be partaking in the observed activities. An informal chat with the children will also take place before the observation activities will be carried out.
Discussion and analysis of findings
Twenty nine questionnaires in total were sent out to participants. Of these, twenty questionnaires were sent through email to childminders who were all female. Of these, 18 surveys were sent to childminders within the Manchester area.  One questionnaire was sent to a childminder in the London and Birmingham. Of these questionnaires, only one was successfully completed and returned. However, those who did not return the questionnaires, were willing to partake in an interview as this was considered a quicker option by most of the participants.   In addition to the above, all nine of the parents, whose children attend the childminding’s setting on a daily basis, willingly took part in the semi-structure interview.  Of these nine parents, six of them were female, while the remaining three were men.  Seven of these were conducted through telephone, while 20 of these were face to face interview. All except one was not willing to take part in the interview, as according to her, she goes to playgroup to relax and catch up with her friends.  Most of the face to face interview with childminders was conducted at the childminding playgroup and two of these were conducted in the setting of the childminders.
During the interview, childminders were asked as to whether their setting has a direct outdoor play. Of this question, all the nineteen childminders, responded by saying that there setting does have an outdoor play area. However, some childminders responded further by saying that even though, there setting has an outdoor play, but stressed on the limitations to what children can benefit from due to the lack of space.  This is what  Bilton (2014) meant when she said that  for such learning to take place there must be enough space. Some of them stated that because of this, outdoor play is fully implemented by taking the children to places, where spaces are not limited. Overall, participants said that the children in the care, benefit from outdoor play almost every day, except where the weather is extremely bad and may cause risk to children such as heavy downfall of rain. All nineteen childminders as participants answered yes to having a outdoor play policy that is shared with parents and that they have a signed parental consent in play and fully implemented within their settings.
.: The reliability of the survey was carried on a small scale of twenty  female childminders who offered feedback on the survey design.  The survey questions were mostly highly open ended with just one multiple question. for example, asking what they saw as the adult’s role  on the outside.
Some were quite specific, for example asking whether the childminding setting runs a free flow or a specify time approach. .
Outdoor Play and Physical Development
During the interviews and questionnaire surveys, childminders as participants were asked, “How does your setting‘s outdoor learning promote physical development and what benefit does it have on the children in your care”.  Some of the responses were, in general, such as “The outdoor area provides excellent opportunity for children to develop their physical development” and that the children love to be on the outside. Some responded in a more practical term by saying that outdoor play can contribute greatly in developing children’s gross motor skills such as running, hopping, jumping, rolling or just riding. Some of the answers were more of the specific skills that the outdoor can promote in children’s development, as it strengthens their upper body and co-ordination, such as balancing and the children’s ability to climb. Other responded by that their settings have equipment such as swings, tyres, bikes, slides etc that enabled the physical environment which supports children’s physical development. Some responded that children have enough space to handle and move things easily from one end to the other. From a health perspective, some childminders stated that outdoor play helps to reduce obesity in children, which
Similarly, all of the parents who took part in this research, support physical in the outdoor. Most of them specifically defined physical play as basically, running, climbing and playing football or just running a bike. One parent responded that outdoor keeps her child fit, healthy and that their child tend to sleep well at night when she has had a good outdoor play.
said that their they children have direct outdoor play while at home. However, one of the parents stated that even though there is no direct outdoor access, she does make use of the nearby communal play area .
Another parent argued that, even though outdoor play is good she doesn’t really want for her child to play outdoor in this winter weather, for fear that their child may get cold, as they are from a hot weather country and has only been in the UK for just over two months.
It is clear from the  above that all the participants who took part in this study, are all in  agreement that the outdoor learning contributes in fostering, children’s physical development, particularly, their gross motor skills and health.  This is evidence from the Literature above, when Hewes et al, ( cited in Ritchie 2015) argued that  outdoor play experiences contribute to children’s physical development, especially their motor skills.  Furthermore, it should be a perfect place whereby children can learn through movement (Armstrong 1996).
Do you think outdoor play supports children’s personal, social and emotional development If so how.
All the childminders agreed in a broader sense that outdoor play does support children’s Personal, Social and Emotional Development. Most of them were very specific in their responses by saying that children in the outdoor are able to use their senses and role play of what they see around them. The role play in the outdoor also encourages children to make relationship and encourages them to easily play both as part of a team and as an individual. Responses such as children can role play and learn to understand each other better while in the outdoor. Children can cope with their emotions and manage their feelings well.  Other childminders responded by saying that the self confidence in children tend to grow immensely, as they enjoy the freedom that has been provided of been in the outdoor.
One of the participants, was not very sure as to how answer the question, even though, she stated that one of the children in her setting, plays more with her peer groups when play is extended outdoor.  One response was that children felt good about themselves in the outdoor as children demonstrate lots of happy faces.
Most parents didn’t quite understand as to how to understand this question. However, after further explanation, most of them responded by saying that their children play well with other children in the community that they live in.
The above research findings has shown that the outdoor play learning does support communication and language. This is also supported from evidences drawn from the above literature from Bilton (2014) who agrees that  adult , together with children  adult can play and work that can affect emotions, behaviour, personality and the ability to learn.
Outdoor play and Communication and Language:  (CL)
Data Question: How does your outdoor setting promote communication and Language and what benefit does it have in children in your care.
Communications; When it came to communication and Learning, childminders who participate in this research, broadly agreed that it is evidenced in their setting that outdoor learning has enhanced children’s communication and Language in the outdoor. Most of them say that some children in their setting, tend to communicate more when they are in the outdoor, than they will do when they are in the indoor. . Some stressed on how children’s vocabulary have enhanced. Some gave used experiences of how children are able to echo the sound of an airplane, the sound of the buzzling wind or just the sound of a barking door. Others have responded by saying that their outdoor play have display of letters and different display that promotes children speaking, listening, understanding. One childminder insisted that  children tend to pay attention  more  to when they are spoken to and also to what is around them. Most of them shared that their outdoor learning has display, letter lines and cultures that children can help to enhance their vocabulary.  Most of the parents do say that outdoor play does support their children’s communication and language skills in the outdoor. However, one parent responded by saying that her child just love to observe other children play whenever he is outdoor.
From the research above, there is a clear evidence between the responses from Childminders  and most of the  parents .  The general respond is that  outdoor play does generally support children’s learning and  communication development. This is supported by  Kennedy et al (2001), when they stated that outdoor play provides  for children’s talking and listening skills.
When childminders were asked about their role in the outdoor, all childminders responded by saying that, their main role is to ensure that children are safe in the outdoor.  Some childminders responded further by saying that their role is to ensure that their settings have suitable equipment and resources that will keep children stimulated and active when in the outdoors.  Others spoke about their role as an observer and to be able to interact and engage with children.  All respondent stated that the outdoor is the good place to carry out observations, planning and assessment in children’s learning. However, although, not on high scale, one respondent stated ‘the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) wants us to take them out everyday’. Furthermore, some spoke about their role to ensure that there outdoor play is fully inclusion and that all children, including those with Special Educational Needs and Disability, enjoy the maximum benefit while in the outdoor.
Critically, looking at the analysis drawn from the responses, it is clear that most of the   childminders were able to identify the importance of their role as the adult in the outdoor.  This is in support from evidence that has been drawn from Literature, which has been emphasized from Dillion et al ( 2005), by saying that  the outdoor is not only for the children but also for the adults, the benefits of  curriculum and also for their own personal development. This is also supported in the one of the four guiding principles (EYFS 2014), that children learn and develop well in enabling environments and there is a strong partnership between practitioners and parents (DfE 2014)
For the purpose of this research study, five observations were carried out , over  a period of five weeks.  Nine children from aged nine months to four years old, took part in these observations. Of these five observations, three were carried out within the childminding setting where the nine children would normally attend and also where the researcher works.   The researcher works with three childminding assistants, who were part of this observation.  The childminding setting is fully equipped with equipment and resources that are aged appropriate. (e.g., playground, water and sand, reading area etc).
As the aim of observation was mainly to explore and understand how the outdoor supports children’s physical, personal, emotional and social, and also their communication and Language skills;  None of the five activities were planned by the adult but rather child initiated activity. However, children’s next steps were planned through observations made. As the setting has a very flexible playtime to the outdoor, the three observations were carried out at different times of the day. Apart from the researcher’s childminding assistants who when invited by the child to extend their thinking, the researcher had chosen to be a silent observer, so as to get a better explore and explore how children play in the outdoor.  Generally, children were observed as they engaged themselves in solitary play or seen playing together.
Physically, the children in the outdoor, were seen using their motor skills confidently, than they would normally do in the indoor.  They made use of the available space by and being able to handle and move equipment from one end to the other, climbing and sliding down the slides, riding bikes and running freely. They made use of the writing and sand area, where they were able to use their fine motor skills for marking making. And while where digging mud. Some of the children enjoyed picking autumn leaves, while at the playgroup. One of the children aged thirty four months, was able to use the dressing up area to dress herself. Though confident in what she was doing, she was able to shout for help from an adult who joined in the play and beginning to work together.  In some activities, it was observed that  adults join in the children’s play,  This is supported by  Siraj-Blatchford et al (2002), when they described outdoor observation and sustained shared thinking has an episode.
As far as their Personal, Social and Emotional Development (PSED)is concerned, children were seen making relationships as they played together. They were able to share   by calling others to join in their play, while others simply stand  Their emotions in the outdoor was more of happy faces, as compared to when they are in the indoor.  Other Literatures have also supported Another child is seen enjoying the outdoor play and making relationship with her friends, eventhough,  the parent had argued (see appendix 4. 5) that the weather may affect the child’s learning and play in the outdoor.
Children were constantly heard either speaking or murmuring, as they played along. One of the children was able to identify, the colour of the passing car when he said ‘its red car, daddy’!  .This is also supported by responses from both the childminders and parents (see appendices 3&4), where they have broadly responded that outdoor play can support children’s PSED. Existing evidence from literatures in this research  have also stated that :  the outdoor can enable children  to share, observe each other (Filer 2008) while they are playing with each other (Casey 2010).
In another activity, children were encouraged to record their own voice and when played back, one of the children, whose  has English as an Additional Language, was able to re –echoed what she has heard. This is interesting as she would normally say little or no word when in the indoor. Literature has therefore proven that  the outdoor will encourage children to have a go at something (Katz 1995), giving children  with EAL the opportunity to experiment  other languages (Bruce 2001)
In conclusion and based on both primary and secondary researches that have been undertaken,  there is an overall compelling  evidence that children in the early years develop and achieve when they are given the opportunity to explore the outdoor freely and daily wherever possible. From the evidence we can conclude that children’s play is vital for their social and physical development and is a way they wish to spend their free time. It is also evidence that the outdoor play is a meaningful and stimulating for children in the outdoor play and with real experiences that help embed their early learning and at the same time fulfilling the prime areas of the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) Curriculum and that it has a positive impact on their sense of wellbeing (Filer 2007).
Although, this research is mainly to explore and understand how the outdoor play supports the prime areas of the EYFS.  Next time, when given the opportunity to do this research again, I would extend the questionnaires to other childcare professionals in other Early Years setting. I will try to use a good mixed of both qualitative and quantitative research methods that will enable me to use graphs or figure tables.  In addition, extending the observations methods to other early years settings. These, will give me a better understanding and experiences, that could lead me in contributing confidently, in improving the outdoor learning area by fully promoting the EYFS curriculum , to  develop children’s learning in the outdoor.

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  2. Free Revisions

    We keep the quality bar of all papers high. But in case you need some extra brilliance to the paper, here’s what to do. First of all, you can choose a top writer. It means that we will assign an expert with a degree in your subject. And secondly, you can rely on our editing services. Our editors will revise your papers, checking whether or not they comply with high standards of academic writing. In addition, editing entails adjusting content if it’s off the topic, adding more sources, refining the language style, and making sure the referencing style is followed.
  3. Confidentiality / 100% No Disclosure

    We make sure that clients’ personal data remains confidential and is not exploited for any purposes beyond those related to our services. We only ask you to provide us with the information that is required to produce the paper according to your writing needs. Please note that the payment info is protected as well. Feel free to refer to the support team for more information about our payment methods. The fact that you used our service is kept secret due to the advanced security standards. So, you can be sure that no one will find out that you got a paper from our writing service.
  4. Money Back Guarantee

    If the writer doesn’t address all the questions on your assignment brief or the delivered paper appears to be off the topic, you can ask for a refund. Or, if it is applicable, you can opt in for free revision within 14-30 days, depending on your paper’s length. The revision or refund request should be sent within 14 days after delivery. The customer gets 100% money-back in case they haven't downloaded the paper. All approved refunds will be returned to the customer’s credit card or Bonus Balance in a form of store credit. Take a note that we will send an extra compensation if the customers goes with a store credit.
  5. 24/7 Customer Support

    We have a support team working 24/7 ready to give your issue concerning the order their immediate attention. If you have any questions about the ordering process, communication with the writer, payment options, feel free to join live chat. Be sure to get a fast response. They can also give you the exact price quote, taking into account the timing, desired academic level of the paper, and the number of pages.

Excellent Quality
Zero Plagiarism
Expert Writers

Instant Quote

Single spaced
approx 275 words per page
Urgency (Less urgent, less costly):
Total Cost: NaN

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