George Lucas Educational Foundation

How a School Made Play Central to Learning

At a primary school in the UK, both students and teachers have become more engaged and curious as a result of a shift to a fully play-based approach—and learning has become more joyful for everyone.

March 24, 2023

In Aberdeen, Scotland, Dyce Primary School has undergone an impressive academic transformation by making learning more playful. In a wooded area near the school, even the smallest students are free to take risks in an unstructured environment—climbing trees, building structures from tarps, planks, and tires, exploring the landscape—while teachers observe from a distance. Once they are back indoors, the perseverance, independence, and resourcefulness the children developed while at play improve their focus and their academic work, as they dive into hands-on, largely student-directed learning initiatives.

To learn more about the research behind the practices seen in the video, check out the links below.

Dyce Primary School

Public, Suburban
Grades K-6
Aberdeen, Scotland

Edutopia developed the Making Learning More Playful series with support from The LEGO Foundation

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Filed Under

  • School Culture
  • Education Trends
  • Play & Recess
  • Research
  • Student Engagement
  • K-2 Primary
  • 3-5 Upper Elementary

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