Play is a serious business;Letter

6th August 1999 at 01:00
ESTHER Thomas (TES, July 23) does well to take issue with our current political masters on the subject of play and the early-years curriculum.

Children's play is a very powerful learning tool. Early-years professionals have very clear intentions when setting up the learning environment and planning the learning experiences offered to young children.

Adults plan the early-years curriculum taking account of how young children develop and how they think and learn. Play is a very important part of a child's life and is a very serious business.

Through play much learning is consolidated and developed. Concentration, perseverance and problem solving, all essential ingredients for life-long learning are nurtured and extended.

Recent comments by the early-years minister and the chief inspector greatly devalue the fine work done in nursery classes throughout the country. It devalues the hard work of many dedicated professionals, worse still, it devalues young children.

Cecily Hanlon Nursery teacher 49 The Drive Crossgates Leeds

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