PP0540 - Play and the Early Years Curriculum

What will I learn on this module?

In this module you will learn about the importance of play and its place in the Early Years Curriculum. You will explore ideologies and practices as well as contrasting theoretical perspectives and approaches. In addition you will examine the place given to play within the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) reflecting upon its appropriateness for young children. By doing so you will be able to identify and reflect upon the different roles that the adult plays in supporting children’s development and learning through play. You will also differentiate between interaction that is either supportive of, or a hindrance to children’s learning. You will learn about a variety of philosophical and cultural approaches from UK and abroad reflecting upon their contribution within the field of early years play in relation to the Early Years Curriculum. The module will address themes such as the social and cultural context of early years play and provision, the history of play, the contested nature of play, definitions and types of play, leading play, risk and the outdoors and exploration of approaches from different ideologies.

How will I learn on this module?

You will be able to learn in a wide variety of ways in this module. Your self-directed reading and learning activity will form an important part of your learning, as will a structured programme of lectures and follow-up seminars. Seminars will provide you with an opportunity to discuss and develop your thinking in a small group working collaboratively with others. A range of electronic and interactive resources will be available via the Electronic Learning Portal (eLP), including live observations with the opportunity to reflect upon practice. Sessions with tutor’s video explanations and summaries will complement lectures material, discussion boards and appropriate use of social media tools. Your development of knowledge and understanding in this module will be shaped by your ability to link theory to practice. You will use theory to examine play situations, particular challenges and opportunities.

How will I be supported academically on this module?

Tutors will support your learning through a variety of ways on this module. They will provide a programme of lectures which relate to the learning outcomes for the module; these lectures will make connections between theory and practice, as we expect you to do. Additionally, you will have the opportunity to work in a smaller seminar group where you will discuss lecture content and your insights gained from directed tasks. Contact details for all tutors for this module are available in the module handbook and via the eLP.

What will I be expected to read on this module?

All modules at Northumbria include a range of reading materials that students are expected to engage with. The reading list for this module can be found at: http://readinglists.northumbria.ac.uk
(Reading List service online guide for academic staff this containing contact details for the Reading List team – http://library.northumbria.ac.uk/readinglists)

What will I be expected to achieve?

Knowledge & Understanding:

1. You will compare and contrast a range of perspectives on the nature of play and its role within the Early Years Curriculum.
2. You will be able to analyse the problematic nature of play and its role in early years practice.

Intellectual / Professional skills & abilities:

3. You will analyse and interpret children’s play, selecting analytical frameworks that are ‘fit for purpose’.
4. Compare and contrast strategies for supporting and extending children’s play, evaluating them for their effectiveness.

Personal Values Attributes (Global / Cultural awareness, Ethics, Curiosity) (PVA):

5. You will examine and analyse the value base underpinning Early Years provision and practice and reflect how this links with your own values.

How will I be assessed?

Summative assessment for this module is a 3,000 word (equivalence), portfolio including: Part 1. a series of play opportunities linked to approaches, play and the Early Years Curriculum 30% proportion of total mark
Part 2. a critical reflection 20% proportion of total mark
and Part 3. a rationale account 50%proportion of total mark
Assessment will be subject to the following assessment criteria:

a. Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of how children learn through play.
b. Demonstrate an understanding of the Early Years Curriculum with emphasis upon approaches, play and the role the adult.
Demonstrate an ability to plan a developmentally appropriate play opportunities providing a sound theoretical rationale.
c. You effectively engage with and apply relevant academic literature.
d. Demonstrate an ability to reflect upon core personal and professional values.
The assessment will address all the Module learning outcomes.

b. Additional formative assessment - detail of process and rationale:

You will be required to develop a plan for the summative assignment in key points throughout the course of the module addressing both structure and content of your planned work, demonstrating ways in which you will meet the published assessment criteria and learning outcomes. You will take part in formative presentations and you will receive feedback from your tutors.





Module abstract


Course info

UCAS Code W3P9

Credits 20

Level of Study Undergraduate

Mode of Study 3 years Full Time

Department Social Work, Education and Community Wellbeing

Location Coach Lane Campus, Northumbria University

City Newcastle

Start September 2024 or September 2025

Fee Information

Module Information

All information is accurate at the time of sharing. 

Full time Courses are primarily delivered via on-campus face to face learning but could include elements of online learning. Most courses run as planned and as promoted on our website and via our marketing materials, but if there are any substantial changes (as determined by the Competition and Markets Authority) to a course or there is the potential that course may be withdrawn, we will notify all affected applicants as soon as possible with advice and guidance regarding their options. It is also important to be aware that optional modules listed on course pages may be subject to change depending on uptake numbers each year.  

Contact time is subject to increase or decrease in line with possible restrictions imposed by the government or the University in the interest of maintaining the health and safety and wellbeing of students, staff, and visitors if this is deemed necessary in future.


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