Action Research by Teachers – Reception

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Miss Baker ‘Progressive Play’Highfield CE Primary School
Getting Ready
1. StimulusWhat could go better? What do you want to improve?

What interests you?


Currently in Year R children are often choosing the same areas to play in during child initiated learning time e.g. outdoors or the writing area. This reflects their interests and strengths around the classroom.  Staff within the reception team are investigating how the children’s play progresses through time in these areas and how we can encourage them to explore new/ different areas indoors and outdoors. 
2. HypothesisWhat are your thoughts about the issue you are focusing on?


Children feel safe and secure in particular areas but they need encouragement to try new ones. Although children often choose the same areas to play in, over time they show rapid progress. Staff within the reception team are eager to encourage progress across all areas.  

We want to use the children’s interests to tempt them over to new areas.

3. ResearchWhat does the research say? What do others in my school know about this?


Like Bees, Not Butterflies: Child-initiated Learning in the Early Yearsby Sally Featherstone
My Focus
4. Research question  How does play progress in particular areas?How can I encourage children to move to different areas?


5. PrioritiesHow does my question sit within my school’s current priorities? Have I checked with key team members/senior staff?   

SEF-Progress of all children

EYFS- Broad and balanced curriculum.



My Enquiry
6. The InterventionWhat you will do? When? Who? How?

For example

Observe and monitor a group of 6 children (mix of boys and girls)Observe where they play/ how they play?

How often are they choosing the same areas?

Use information of interests to encourage children to choose new areas in and around the classroom.

7. Evaluation MethodsHow will you notice, measure and describe what happens?


Evaluate observations. Tally up how many times particular children choose areas and what they are learning. Is it progressive? 


  Observe the children regularly taking note of where they are playing and what they are learning.  

Try out new ideas of how to move play forward and encourage children to choose new areas.


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