some online links:

play for older children:

Play is really important for us all.  Play is our foundation for understanding the world and learning how we relax and enjoy ourselves.  We have fun,  We explore, create, inovate and build confidence as we play.  ALL OF US NOT JUST CHILDREN!

Take the play away and we may learn by rote but thus we take away the key elements needed for our brains and bodies to relax, thrive, understand the world and work it out.

I recently took my daughter out of school age 7 and was amazed by how similar her play was/is to the younger children.  They were all playing doctors or firemen, hospitals or lost in the forest – They were all playing and discussing their wider worlds and working them out through play.  My daughters father died when she was 2 and here at 7 she was playing and a conversation went : ‘When you get home your Dad will not be there he will be in heaven.  He died.  But its ok because in a little while, like 2 weeks or a bit longer you will have a new Dad and he will just like your old Dad but a bit different’ friend ‘OK, well I better get a bandage on my arm now’.

Rowan Williams is backing a campaign to change early education system for ages up to 7.  Having taken my daughter out of school I can now really understand why.  Kids do not learn at a table.  They learn more language when they are out and about in different activities and all this language and learning experiences are used in stories and writing later when they start wanting to put their ‘experiences’ down on paper.

In case the article is not there when searched I have copied some of it below.

‘Lord Williams of Oystermouth, master of Magdalene College, Cambridge, is among 350 leading figures supporting a drive to overhaul early education in England significantly amid fears that children are expected to do “too much, too soon”.

The group, which includes academics, authors and charity leaders, is on Wednesday due to present a petition containing 7,500 names to Downing Street. It calls for major changes to nurseries and schooling and plans to hold a parliamentary lobby to gain support from MPs.

The move follows the publication of a letter in The Daily Telegraph last month warning of the dangers of pushing children too hard in the early years.

It claimed that compulsory schooling should be delayed until the age of seven – up from five at the moment – because early education is too focused on the three-Rs, causing “profound damage” to children. The “Too Much, Too Soon” campaign – launched by the Save Childhood Movement – had previously been backed by 130 figures such as Sir Al Aynsley-Green, the former children’s commissioner for England; Lord Layard, director of the Well-being Programme at the London School of Economics; Dr David Whitebread, senior lecturer in psychology of education at Cambridge University, and Catherine Prisk, director of Play England.’