The play-based training programme is open to teachers and community members to learn about how they can inject play into their teaching and utilise the playground in lessons. The playground is a rich learning resource allowing the teacher to teach colours, numbers, forces, angles and much more.

Rote teaching: 'Chalk and talk'

Much of the teaching in Uganda is taught by rote, or repetition of facts and figures. Also known as ‘chalk and talk’, this approach is limited in helping children learn. This is because a child’s natural way of learning is multi-sensory, often through play. Our ‘Educational Play’ programme introduces the concept of play-based teaching to educators and helps them to develop lessons that are multi-sensory and play-based, encouraging them to use their surroundings to create a more engaging and child-centred learning environment which is sustainable for the long-term.

Play is a child’s natural way of learning

The children may have been told in class that 2+2=4 but they will only understand that concept when they put it into practice. This often happens in their own time, playing with stones and putting them on top of each other, working out the equation themselves. Including play within the classroom enables children to be taught a subject in the way they naturally would take it in.

Injecting play into the classroom

Within the training we provide practical examples of how teachers can use their surroundings to add play to the classroom as well as the difference play-based learning when compared to rote teaching. Can you think of how you could use the playground in a lesson?  One example is that forces (push, pull, gravity) can be taught on the swings, seesaws as well as the slide, giving the child some practical examples of the theory you are teaching them. Can you think of any other ways a playground can be used?

The result of monitoring, evaluation and learning

This play-based teaching training programme came about as a result of our monitoring, evaluation and learning. Following playground installation, many teachers were reporting back (when not even asked) that they were in fact utilising the playground for many other purposes. These purposes did not only include as a teaching resources but also as a tool for punishment, as an alternative to corporal punishment. If a child misbehaved then a teacher could say that they were not allowed on the playground that lunch time. From this learning, we were able to develop a programme that not only enhanced our aim but was designed by the community, resulting in greater impact.