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Play Together, Stay Together

A social cooperative project for building positive relationships in the Early Years.

A leading Early Years expert wrote ‘In the first few years of school, children must learn to function as a member of a large social group outside the family… In order to interact harmoniously within a group, young children need to feel confident and secure about their own rights and position, they need to feel valued, respected and cared about so they can value, respect and care about others.’- Edgington 2004.

For many children, their EYFS setting is their first foray into the world of social relationships. In a world dominated by technology, we believe passionately in helping children connect and build sustainable relationships offline. Studies show that over-exposure to technology can lead to feelings of isolation and emptiness and we want to counteract this by instilling in young children the value of social relationships and the importance of working together in the real world- through PLAY of course!

This project is inspired by the characteristics of effective learning, which link naturally to a drama-based approach to teaching, and more specifically by the statutory Personal, Social and Emotional Development Early Learning Goal.

All our sessions are facilitated by experienced professional theatre and education practitioners.

The project consists of 6 x 60 minute sessions, all exploring social and cooperative lessons in different contexts e.g. turn taking, working in partners, conflict resolution, working in large groups etc. Each session is practical, with the class learning through drama and play. (For pre-school settings, 30 minute sessions are also available for two separate groups.)

There are also 3 x 15 minute sessions for the practitioner and the lead teacher to reflect on and discuss the project. These will be scheduled for the beginning middle and end of the project. These sessions are also a CPD opportunity, designed to help the teacher to feel more confident in using drama as a tool for social cooperation in the classroom.

This project can also be adapted for KS1.

The children really enjoyed the project and looked forward to it every week. They particularly enjoyed the story telling activities. On the whole the children seem much better at working together now and they seem to be getting better at solving problems with each other. It was nice to see the children giving each other compliments and they are starting to choose different people as partners (not just their friends.) There was a good variety of activities and the sessions were well paced. All of the activities were well explained to the children and delivered enthusiastically which helped to engage the children. You created opportunities for the children to work with different people in the class who they would not normally work with. I really liked the activities where they had to compliment each other and self-assess their own strengths. I was really surprised at how well the class worked together as a whole team. I think they have definitely made progress in this area. Class Teacher, Coldash St Marks