Child initiated play is a very important part of an early learner’s development.That is why PDR is given so much emphasis at SRS.PDR is also part of Active Learning; as the children are given the opportunity to enjoy achieving what they set out to do and creating and thinking critically.


Children are creative because they’re not afraid to make mistakes.They’re born creative, but we educate them out of it with systems that make them afraid of making mistakes.
Sir Ken Robinson


At SRS we want to be “supportive of the children’s own efforts and independence”.We want to foster creative children and so every classroom must foster a “have a go” environment where every effort is valued.The children must be allowed to make mistakes, every mistake made is a learning opportunity.


What is PDR?
PDR stands for Plan-Do-Review and comes from the Highscope Early Childhood Curriculum. PDR is about children making plans, carrying them out and then reflecting upon what they have done. These sessions should last for around an hour or more. The first part of the session is the planning part where you find out what the children want to do, where they want to do it, what they might need and who they are going to work with. The second part of the session is the ‘Do’ part where the children actually carry out their plans. During this time adults observe. The third part is where the children reflect on what they did; did they complete what they set out to do?


The children sit in a circle (whole class or small group) and the teacher asks the children what they want to do today. Some teachers find having a picture board really helps young children to plan what they want to do.



The children go to carry out what they have planned. Sometimes the children decide to do something completely different and this is ok. The adults scaffold learning where appropriate and take photos and write observations during this time.


The children come back together and talk about what they did. The teacher prompts using questions such as; What did you do today? Who did you work with? (see additional handout and CPD session).


Creating and thinking critically
We should give all early learners the opportunity to express themselves, as they wish.
All work at SRS must be created by the child.  It must demonstrate the individuality of each child’s creative ideas and imagination.  Children must always be provided with blank canvases.  During child initiated play, children who are less confident, may opt to ‘colour in’ as this is an easy option.  As part of our commitment to these children we must be challenging their thinking by only giving them challenging opportunities.


We believe there are strong links between children’s motivation, self-esteem and independence which lead to high achievement.


Play is a very important part of all children’s development and we offer a safe and stimulating environment where children can build their skills, knowledge and understanding by having access to a wide range of equipment and materials.


For our children we focus on four aspects of the young child’s development:

  • Positive relationships
  • Learning and development
  • Enabling environments
  • A unique child

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