Play has a fundamental role in the integral development of children. Nowadays, modern pedagogy resorts to this resource for educational purposes, since it is a fundamental element in the motivation of students, which makes learning much more enjoyable. Children learn better and faster if they do it in a fun and stress-free way. This is what is known as “teaching by delighting”.
However, the game today is not just a simple and plain didactic resource. It has now become an educational object in its own right. In Pre-School classrooms, it is enough for students to play freely in order to learn. Therefore, it is important to be aware that both children and adults learn through play and experimentation, we do not play to learn.
Play is related to growth, maturation and experimentation. Through this tool, the youngest students explore new shapes, discover new colors and internalize new knowledge previously unknown. Thanks to this resource the little ones learn, express themselves freely, relate socially and acquire responsibilities and judgment skills.
At Casvi International American School during the entire Pre-School stage, play is, in all its routines, the fundamental basis for learning. In this stage we also work on important aspects such as autonomy and self-esteem, oral, corporal and artistic expression, or the initiation to reading and Mathematics.
Under the International Baccalaureate methodology, and with a rigorous and stimulating American curriculum, Casvi promotes the development of independent learning skills, which encourages all students to take responsibility for their own education.
Play in these stages is an attitude that characterizes almost any childhood activity, directly related to the physical and personal growth of the students for the following reasons:
- Through play, pupils feel good and express themselves freely.
- They relate socially with others and in groups.
- They acquire responsibilities and judgment skills.
- They integrate into the adult world.
- They learn about characteristics of their own culture.
- Transform reality and explore the world around them.
- They develop imagination and creativity.
According to Josué Llull, professor at the University of Alcalá and author of “El juego infantil y su metodología”, playful activity contributes to the development of 6 fundamental aspects of the personality of the youngest students:
- Physical-motor:it increases strength and muscle development, in addition to helping the synchronization of movements, improving gestural precision and language.
- Intellectual:facilitates the understanding of situations, anticipation of events, problem solving and strategy development.
- Creative: stimulating imagination, symbolic thinking, and developing manual skills.
- Emotional: promoting the assimilation and maturation of the situations experienced, helping to overcome those of a traumatic nature.
- Social: learning the rules of coexistence and participating in imaginary situations created and maintained collectively.
- Cultural: imitating reference models of the social context in which daily life unfolds, which will depend on factors such as the geographical area, climatic conditions or the historical period.
The methodology used at Casvi International American School leans towards a freer pedagogy, which does not force the children in their development, but uses play and recreational activities as the main tool for the development of their intelligence.
Within the IB Program, the language of instruction is English, carried out by native teachers. Here students learn through transdisciplinary units of inquiry, while achieving true linguistic immersion without leaving Madrid.
At this stage our main objective is to create work habits that will help them to face their future studies with full guarantees. For this reason, and as a culminating experience in each stage, in the last year the students carry out an interdisciplinary inquiry in a team in which they have to identify, investigate and offer solutions to real issues or problems. This exposure provides students with an excellent opportunity to demonstrate that they are independent and responsible for their own learning.