How can I use play-based and inquiry learning to support student outcomes?

The link between play and learning is well documented. Accordingly, play-based and inquiry learning approaches provide a meaningful context for student learning and general capabilities (Justice and Pullen, 2003; Korat et al., 2002, 2003; Nicolopoulou et al., 2006).

Let's take a look at some of the ways that play-based and inquiry learning supports student learning and general capabilities:

In summation

As identified by the VEYLDF Integrated Teaching and Learning Practice Principle 7, teachers "have an important role in developing student's understanding of concepts in literacy, numeracy and science. When adults guide learning, they extend children's learning beyond what they can know, do and understand on their own" (DET, 2007, p. 9). 

Making visible the connections to curriculum

Learning occurs across multiple learning areas and general capabilities of the Victorian Curriculum when students are engaged in a play-based and inquiry learning approach.

Watch the below videos to strengthen your ability to identify connections between curriculum and play-based and inquiry learning. Professor Louise Patch and Dr Natalie Robertson will narrate a selection of vignettes to discuss the learning that students engaged with in connection to the Victorian Curriculum.

Keep in mind
These two videos have been filmed in a small group setting outside of the main classroom, to show the interactions between the students and the teacher


Professional learning program orientation materials

Module 1

Module1.1 - What is play-based and inquiry learning?

Module1.2 - Differentiated through play-based and inquiry learning

Module1.3 – Experiences and outcomes

Module 1.4 - What does play look like?

Module 1.6 - Building community - discussion and webinar

Module 2

Module 2.1 - Introduction to Module 2

Module 2.2 - Linking High Impact Teaching Strategies to play-based and inquiry learning

Module 2.3 - Planning and implementing play-based and inquiry learning

Module 2.4 - Organising and resourcing play-based and inquiry learning experiences

Module 2.5 - Upholding Victoria’s Vision for Learning

Building community-discussion and webinar for module 2

Module 3

Module 3: Assessing learning through play

Module 3.2 Different types of assessment

Module 3.3 Assessment models

Module 3.4 Assessment of play

Module 3.5 Assessing language and literacy

Module 3.6 Assessing numeracy and mathematics

Module 3.7 Assessing Personal and Social Capability

Module 3.8 Building community – discussion and webinar

Module 4

Module 4.1 Play- based and inquiry learning is differentiated and inclusive

Module 4.2 Knowing students as players and learners

Module 4.3 Differentiation as a teaching approach

Module 4.4 Differentiation in practice-Goal setting

Module 4.5 Supporting dispositions for learning through student agency

Module 4.6 Building community–discussion and webinar

Resource bank

Webinar Resources