Exploring young children’s levels of involvement with numeracy and literacy – do schemas make a difference?

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Supporting children’s schemas in play-based activities and curricula are a valued and embedded part of early childhood practice in many education systems (Meade, A., and P. Cubey. 2008. Thinking Children, Learning About Schemas. Berkshire: Open University; Nutbrown, C. 2011. Threads of Thinking Schemas and Young Children’s Learning. 4th ed. London: Sage; Arnold, C. 2013. “Drawing Our Learning Together from the Case Studies.” In Mairs, K. and The Pen Green Team. Young Children Learning through Schemas, edited by Cath Arnold, 169–174. London: Routledge; Atherton, F., and C. Nutbrown. 2013. Understanding Schemas and Young Children. London: Sage; Constable, K. 2013. Planning for Schemas Play in the Early Years. Oxon: Routledge. This study takes place in South East Wales in the current early years’ curriculum, the Foundation Phase (FP). Currently FP practitioners are provided with little guidance on supporting children’s schemes, with limited references to schemes within FP policy documents. Therefore, this research provides empirical data comparing children’s levels of involvement in literacy and numeracy activities between those planned for schematically and those planned for non-schematically. This paper focuses on the use of the Leuven scale (Laevers, F. 1997. A Process-Orientated Child Follow-Up System for Young Children. Leuven: Centre for Experiential Education) as a tool to measure children’s involvement in literacy and numeracy activities. It is part of a wider project focusing on exploring the value of schemas with Foundation Phase (FP) early years’ practitioners in Wales.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)217-226
Number of pages10
JournalEducation 3-13
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 5 Feb 2020


  • Schemas
  • Involvement
  • Early Years
  • Word
  • literacy and numeracy
  • play


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