Encouraging Physical Development Through Movement-Play


Carol Archer & Iram Siraj

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    Figures and Tables

    • Chapter 3 Includes many photographs illustrating points made in the text and suitable resources 38
    • 4.1 Baby gym accessible to infants at all times 85
    • 4.2 Soft play equipment with mats, which are useful for all age groups 85
    • 4.3 A clear tunnel with cushions and chiffon scarves set on top of large mats 86
    • 4.4 Cotton covered elastic, small soft balls, ribbon sticks and Lycra material 87
    • 4.5 and 4.6 Large soft play shapes to climb and jump from onto large mats 88
    • 4.7 Climbing frame suitable for use indoors 88
    • 4.8 Results for intervention and comparison settings (mean scores of items) 95
    • 5.1 Mum and daughter coming down slide at a favourite park of theirs 116
    • 6.1 Factors that need to be considered and decided on when drawing up a physical development policy 130
    • 6.2 Example of a physical development policy 145
    • 2.1 Examples of different types of activity 35
    • 4.1 Movement-play scale (MPS) with notes for clarification and questions 75
    • 4.2 Pre- and post-assessment scores for Intervention settings 1 and 2 83
    • 4.3 Pre- and post-assessment scores for Comparison settings 1 and 2 84
    • 6.1 Example of a planning sheet for physical development 140
    • 6.2 Physical activity guidelines issued by the chief medical officers of the four countries of the UK (DH, 2011) for children from birth to five years of age 150

    About the Authors

    Carol Archer has taught in early childhood education and primary schools for over two decades and is currently an advisory teacher for the Integrated Early Years Service in the London borough of Camden. She also works as a movement-play practitioner/consultant for other education authorities. She finished her Master's degree in early years education at the Institute of Education, University of London, in 2011, and recently published a paper with Iram Siraj on ‘Measuring the quality of movement-play in early childhood education settings’ in the European Early Childhood Education Research Journal. She is passionate about promoting physical development through movement-play for all young children from birth to six years of age in this under-researched, under-theorised and under-practised area of learning.

    Iram Siraj is Professor of Early Childhood Education at the UCL Institute of Education, University College London, and the University of Wollongong in Australia. Iram's recent research projects have included leading on the Evaluation of the Foundation Phase across Wales and she is a principal investigator for the major Department for Education's 17-year study, the Effective Pre-school, Primary and Secondary Education (EPPSE 3-16, 1997-2014) project, and the influential Researching Effective Pedagogy in the Early Years (REPEY) project. She has led on longitudinal studies/randomised controlled trials as a principal investigator in a number of countries, including the UK, Australia and Ireland. She is currently a specialist adviser to the House of Commons Select Committee on early education and has undertaken reviews of the Foundation Phase for the Welsh Government and the workforce for the Scottish Government. She has also published widely.


    First and foremost our thanks go to the children and practitioners who have contributed so much to our understanding of young children's movement development, and the many children and parents who gave permission to use photographs to illustrate the movement patterns and physical activities printed in this book.

    Special thanks go to all the children and staff at Agar Children's Centre, Collingham Gardens Nursery and 1a Children's Centre for all their time, patience, invaluable help and contributions. In particular, Teresa Barker, Mikelia Fugolin, Katharine Jerrom and Marilyn Sherwood-Clinton for their unceasing support, enthusiasm and sense of humour during the whole process. Thanks also go to Carole Limtouch and Monica Piszczyk for their valuable work with parents and their contributions.

    Many thanks to Lynn Linsell, senior manager at Camden Integrated Early Years Service, for her advice and contribution to the template included in Chapter 6 on policy, and to Regents Park Children's Centre for their current Physical Development policy.

    Thanks also go to Camilla Saunders and Helen Simpson who read and made constructive and helpful comments on early drafts.

    This work on movement-play began with training from Jasmin Pasch, to whom we owe many thanks for her ongoing support, and countless discussions with Carol. Thanks also go to Bette Lamont, who has been a constant inspiration, to Jacqui Cousins for providing direction and support in the early stages of this work, and to Susan Hill who encouraged the development of the assessment scale for movement-play which Camden Early Years Advisors contributed to.

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