Rebecca Mutch’s Play Project

Using interactive learning diaries to put play at the heart of family learning.

Rebecca Mutch
Working Party Member
Depute Headteacher

Interactive Learning Diaries

Through the use of ILDs, I want to ensure that parents/carers are given information about their child’s learning and experiences in nursery. I want to encourage more parental engagement through them sharing information from activities from home, and their commenting on their child’s observations. I would like to provide information and suggestions of play ideas for home to support child development and learning. From parental feedback, I would like to provide them with an overview of the activities undertaken within nursery each week.

What format will your communication take?

Parents will receive a monthly in-depth update on their child’s learning on Interactive Learning Diaries. Out-with this, WOW moments will also be shared within ILDs. Photos of what is happening in nursery will be shared weekly on Twitter and the school website.

What content will your communication have?

Monthly observations will include the planning and observation led by the child. These will include photos or a video of the child within nursery. On Twitter, information such as staff, snack and planned activities is shared on a Monday. Once a week, a brief update on activities within the nursery rooms will be shared on the school website.

Project Progress

I have shared my ideas with the nursery team and will be involving them in this. On return to nursery in August after lockdown, I sent out a questionnaire to parents around the return to the setting. From this, I realised that while happy, parents missed being able to come into nursery to see their child and to take part in/support activities.

Next Steps

The project’s next steps are to:

  • Continue to share information on Twitter.
  • Create page on school website and use this to provide more information to parents along with the continued use of ILDs.
  • I would like to gain insight into parental views on play and to use Tina Bruce’s Theories of Play to ensure we provide the best experience for our nursery children.
  • Encourage families to share information about their child’s home learning and development and engage with ILDs.

Covid-19 Caveat

With the closure of our nursery due to Covid-19, much of our intended planning was put on hold. Staff have been working in key worker and vulnerable children hub. We have not started sending home weekly updates of what the children are doing in nursery as they have not yet returned. We are providing learning activities within ILDs.


Project Progress

Since return to learning within the nursery we have started putting out Weekly Learning Leaflets which detail some of the week’s focused learning and activities available. This helps to involve parents/carers with their child’s learning and development during this time when they cannot access the nursery.

We have started celebrating WOW moments within the ILDs. These are moments of achievement for the child and are celebrated and shared with parents. We hope to involve parents/carers in sharing celebrations and achievements from home.


Pupil Voice

It is important that children feel valued and listened to within the nursery setting. We therefore ask for their ideas, thoughts and opinions regularly.

We asked the children how we should display their WOW moments-

“Make it big!”

“On the wall.”

“Tell mummy.”

These were great ideas and we’ve decided to do them all!

We are also asking children if their parent/carer looks at and speaks to them about their ILDs:

“Sometimes.”

“My daddy saw me in the garden.”


Family Feedback

We asked parents/carers for feedback on our use of ILDs. This enables us to plan how best to move forward to ensure we are involving parents/carers.


Next Steps

We want to continue using ILDs and engaging parents in this. We want to make sure that new parents have the necessary information to enable them to begin engaging with ILDs.

It is important to us that we celebrate the learning and development of all children and that we share this in a meaningful way.

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