Berkhamsted Group, Pre-Prep, Prep | 19.06.2024

Berkhamsted Pre-Prep and Prep celebrates the International Day of Play

Berkhamsted Pre-Prep and Prep celebrates the International Day of Play

At Berkhamsted Pre-Prep and Prep, pupils are encouraged to explore the world around them and develop holistically through play. Of course, play is fun and memorable, but it is so much more than that. While they may not know it, daily opportunities for play are laying the foundations that will help pupils develop into remarkable adults. Studies have shown that the more children play, the more likely they are to develop into self-regulating, emotionally intelligent adults. 


Guided by the latest early years education research, play is an important part of every lesson and every day at the Pre-Prep and Prep. Through daily play, pupils learn how to collaborate, think creatively, and question the world around them. In line with our dedication to the power of play to transform pupils into remarkable young people with the skills to succeed in the future, we recently hosted our first ‘International Day of Play’.  

At the Pre-Prep, the International Day of Play saw pupils engaged in outdoor play, strategic card games, puppet shows, and make-believe. From building sandcastles in the sand tray to navigating how to build a party boat with the outdoor blocks, the games supported collaboration and teamwork.  

At the Prep, pupils enjoyed moulding shapes in a sandbox and a range of outdoor games from skipping to marbles to tiddlywinks. 

Each of the games played across the two schools were specially selected to encourage pupils’ collaboration, confidence, and critical thinking, each of which are essential for success in pupils’ later School life and future careers. Many of the games incorporated essential maths and English skills, from a wordle-style English game to a ‘hook-a-duck’ maths game, preparing them for academic success throughout their time at School and beyond.  

But it’s not just about academic development as of the games encouraged pupils to collaborate to reach a goal, developing their emotional and social skills. In Year 4, pupils particularly enjoyed splitting into teams of four and brainstorming ways to remove a cup from the table without placing their hands in a ‘danger zone’. Watching pupils hone their fine motor skills while sharing ideas about the best way to move the cup was a perfect example of the power of play to transform classrooms into cooperative and collaborative spaces.  

Throughout the day, pupils were asked to reflect on the skills they were developing while engaging in play. When asked by Mr Blake in their assembly what skills Prep pupils had used throughout their morning of play, they said, “collaboration”, “maths”, and “memory”.  

Thanks to years of research into the transformative power of play to develop lifelong skills, play is an essential part of daily life at Berkhamsted Pre-Prep and Prep. Our First International Day of Play was a remarkable celebration at the Pre-Prep and Prep, affirming our dedication to the power of play in early childhood education. We look forward to many more days of joyful discovery and learning, where play continues to be at the heart of our children’s growth and development. 

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