trategies are areas presented in the National Curriculum's framework as highly structured, which in turn allows them very little space for creativity. Therefore, young children in year one are asked to sit down, listen, and follow directions most of the time. Unfortunately, in this way they are being offered little encouragement and suppport to develop their learning dispositions (Broadhead, 2003). This appears to be the key to the problem.
Judging by the circumstances, it seems very difficult for early years practitioners in the UK, particularly those working in reception and year one classes, to create a positive environment to facilitate children's learning through play, as the majority of theorists state. Anyway, it is well known that begining primary school entails a transition into a more formal curriculum. Therefore, we believe that finding a balance between play-based activities and more specific tasks would be a good way of considering children's needs and interests. Hopefully, this less structured and moer informal way of proceding, will facilitate teachers' job when they have to plan what they aim children to learn in relation to the National Curriculum requirements (Palmer and Pettitt, 1993).
Research in the early years education is considered essential and can generate data that can be applicable for further research, policy modification, as well as for the improvement of practice (Pascal, 1993) .
The aim of the present study is to discover UK's primary teachers in year one understandings of play, and how this impacts on their practice, as they have to contemplate the National Curriculum's statuory demands. Answers to the following questions were sought:
1) To explore the understandings of play currently held byUK's primary teachers in...
The study will consist in a small-scale survey to investigate year one teachers understandings of play and believes about the primary National Curriculum, and how these impact on practice. In addition, will investigate if year one children consider they get to play in the classroom. Robson explains that small-scale surveys are one of the traditional qualitative research strategies, as they are suitable for studies that seek to describe and analyse some aspect or situation. He also states that a disadvantage in the use of questionnaires and/or interviews is that respondents will not necessarily report their understandings and believes, for a number of reasons. Therefore, a type of external validity is necessary if the purpose of the study is to seek if their is a line between what people say and do. In this way, as the behaviour of teachers’ is an essential aspect in the study as well, observation techniques will be also included to learn about teachers practice in the classroom, and then to describe, analyse and interpret what was observed.