What is a schema?

May 17, 2019

A schema is a natural urge or noticeable pattern demonstrated in a child’s play, although a child will play with a wide variety of toys, they will follow a repeated pattern in their actions as they develop. Children can change their schemas over time, as their approach to activities may change throughout their development. However, if a child no longer follows a certain schema anymore, they will fall into another schema category.

‘Schema’ was a term introduced by psychologist Jean Piaget in 1926. He is said to have believed that children as active learners, need to construct and reconstruct their experiences through play and action.

Schemas may be strange and fascinating at times, but a child is actually building up their connections in their brains as part of their individual learning journeys. You might find some children like filling containers, moving objects from one place to another, climbing or putting objects in certain orders for example; these are schemas.

Schemas are used in our setting to ensure the practitioners are able to support a child’s learning and development to achieve the best outcomes. We use schemas when planning a child’s next steps in addition to their current interest, as this ensures activities are planned around a child’s individuality, meaning they are more specific to what each child likes and how they learn. This aids the children to be more successful in fulfilling the learning objective set out by the practitioners so they can progress to the next level.

Schematic play is important as children acquire new knowledge as they encounter new experiences. Being aware of schemas helps to support children’s learning foundations and helps to understand children’s behaviour.

Schema in the EYFS

Schemas and schematic play has a large role in the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS curriculum used in settings with children under 5 years), as it offers play and exploration which is referred to in the EYFS.

To understand more on schemas here are a few sites to visit:





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Wow!!!! Were to begin.. this is by far the best nursery I could have sent my children too. The staff are extremely... friendly helpful and ensure the children are cared for and they learnt so much. My children settled really well and have both enjoyed being here. Seeing them so happy and always excited for the next day at paintpots Manchester makes me feel so at ease leaving them. They are always involving parents in everything and make you feel like one big family. A massive thank you to everyone who works there and all you have done. Looking forward to extending our family into their welcoming nursery again in the future.read more
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Strong Mama
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Lovely nursery. My son went in for 2 days but the staff were great and genuine. Will definitely be returning when I... start my second year of studies next year and my son is 2. Ideal location. Lovely staff. Thank you everyone. You've been greatread more
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Staff seems to be very close to children and that is very important. In addition, the nursery encourage children to... engage in messy and sensory play to learn and develop.read more
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Sent my step-son here for over 2 years before he started school. Perfect location, great staff and most importantly, he... loved it. Only issue was the refurbishment of the building taking place, but they even managed to use that as a learning experience and the kids all loved the builders and diggers opposite!!read more
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12:41 31 Jan 18
I Sent my little girl here from a small baby and watched her grow in to a confident, bright young lady. I could not... praise and thank the staff here enough, they were like our second family. Very relaxed, friendly, homely environment with the children at the centre of everything they do.read more
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12:38 27 Jan 18
I sent my child to this Nursery after having sent his 2 older siblings. I work in the City Centre and they love the... place, they all did. There are staff that have been there for over 10 years, location is fantastic and whilst the recent renovation works have not been ideal, it hasn't affected the care one bit. Somehow, they even find a way to make activities that involve the construction materials. Can't recommend highly enough!!read more
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Best nursery my daughter has attended. Embarrassed to say but due to domestic issues she has been to 4 nurseries. now... that I'm in the clear and can chose any nursery she has started back at this nursery❤️❤️ Kind understanding staff. Very friendly and professional.read more
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