There are many different influences that have an impact on the ways in which we plan to provide play and learning. One of the influences are Ofsted. ”Ofsted is the Office for Standards in Education, Children’s Services and Skills. We inspect and regulate services that care for children and young people, and services providing education and skills for learners of all ages” (www.gov.uk/government/organisations/ofsted/about). Ofsted impacts the way we plan to provide for play and learning because they visit the setting and inspect a range of issues e.g. planning. They do this to ensure we have opportunities for independent learning and ensure we have pupil engagement within activities. In placement I have seen Ofsted come in and inspect the setting they inspect many different areas and they ensure we are following policies and procedures as well as providing play and learning opportunities by looking at our planning and ensuring we are following the planning e.g. checking we have sand and water out if it has those activities on the plan. Ofsted are responsible for inspection of schools, childcare agencies and teacher training. They have to publish their findings and then they can be used to improve the quality of education and training. Ofsted have to regulate inspections of early years and childcare services to ensure they are suitable for children and young people and they have to report to policy makers on the effectiveness of these services.
Parents can have an influence on play and learning because some parents will constantly be protecting their child or children. These children are also known as “cotton wool kids” because their parents are so protective that the children do not get to play with anything or they don’t get to play outside and therefore they will hardly learn because they are not allowed to do anything and make their own choices. Some parents get called “helicopter-parents” which means they are always watching their child and they know exactly what the child does and when they do it. This is because the parents want to be part of every aspect in the child’s life but the child will feel suffocated and therefore will not learn much because they are being watched by their parent all of the time.
Some parents do not want their children involved in risk and challenge activities, this is known as “risk averse” some parents do not want their children involved in risk and challenge activities because they don’t want them to be at risk of harm and they do not want them being challenged because they do not want them doing things they cannot do.
Some children are known as “over occupied children” because they are too busy to have time to play. Some parents think children should be involved in many activities e.g. swimming and dance this is because parents think they will learn more through structured activities but children also learn when taking part in hands on experiences e.g. play because children will learn in their own time when taking part in play activities.
Think about inclusion and an enabling environment