Port Noarlunga Primary School

Promoting Oral Language Through Play

Aug 11, 2019 | class story

The Reception team have introduced the topic of Play Based Learning into their weekly routine as a tool to teach and enhance the students’ vocabulary and oral language skills.


Play Based Learning happens three afternoons a week. Each week, the students work with a small group of their peers looking at a particular topic. The adult working with the group delivers explicit teaching and related activities to develop vocabulary related to the theme. Students are provided with fun, engaging resources to actively explore and are encouraged to utilise the new words they have learnt.

Having three sessions throughout the week on one particular theme allows the students to expand and build on their prior learning in each session and then get excited about exploring a new theme the following week.

The teachers have been working together to create tiered word lists, trial different methods of observing and recording students’ in their play, and developing quality strategies to effectively teach vocabulary.

The students are passionate and engaged by our Play Based Learning program. Some of their responses are below.

‘I like Play Based Learning because my friends and I played vets’ —Ethan

‘Play Based Learning helps us learn about the stuff that we are playing with’ —Mae

‘I like playing with my friends in Play Based Learning’ —Holly

‘Play Based Learning helped me play with some new people from Mr. Josh’s class’ —Alba

‘In Play Based Learning we cleaned inside and outside with cleaning things’ —Mason
‘Cooper and I read some books with Jayne about vets.’ —Mackenzie

‘I loved the cleaning week and we helped the school’ —Jaxson

‘My group is helping and learning about the garden’ —Acacia

‘I made some new friends in Play Based Learning’ —Matilda

‘We played in a tent and learnt about compasses’ —Oliver

‘When we did doctors, I was the patient and I broke my leg’ —Gracie

‘We built a zoo with lots of blocks and lots of different animals’ —Paige

‘I used a comb and a hairdryer to do Matilda’s hair in Hairdressers’ —Ben

‘We played with water and put sea creatures in it’ —Bodhi

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