The government plans to spend £235m on improving playground provision, but what can be done to make sure all children enjoy the new facilities? Crispin Andrews invesigates

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The Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) principles are designed to celebrate the importance of play and learning, by putting the child back at the heart of early years practice. Sally Jaeckle, senior regional adviser for the EYFS, South West, discusses

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Playing games and focusing on positive learning and motivation can transform a classroom environment for the better. Consultant Jenny Fox Eades outlines the lessons that positive psychology can teach us

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Play-based learning can take a key role in the teaching of science and can encourage scientific enquiry skills, says Robert Sinclair

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Jan White provides a range of practical ideas for creating enabling outdoor environments that support young children’s health, wellbeing, development and learning

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Jan White, consultant in outdoor play in the early years, looks at implications of the EYFS for the development of outdoor environments for young children

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Katrina Foley describes how young children’s independence and self-management skills can be promoted in an environment which celebrates risk, challenge and empowerment

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Maggie Parker-Heys urges early years practitioners to appreciate and nurture the skills required to form even the simplest letters

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Steve Mynard looks at the place of drama in your setting and how existing practice can be enhanced. read more

Use all the openings possible to encourage your children to express themselves through the written word, says Lynn Cousins. read more

Jo Lewis describes some active games and motivational techniques.

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British Gymnastics’ play programme helps young children develop physical skills. Jo Prescott and Liz Liebman explain how

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