Visit to a special place in the community

Visit to a special place in the community

Children visit a variety of places in their community and speak to a variety of people about their roles.

On returning, the children discuss and make models of buildings through play activities led by the adult practitioner or play partner. They use their buildings to set up a small world town which they play with in their own way - the adult being on hand to support their thinking (child-initiated learning).

Through further discussion during play, a small group of children discuss the church that they visited and with adult support discuss why the building might be special. The term ‘special’ is discussed as an emotion. Children reflect that the church is special because it “has Jesus in it and he is a magic person”. The practitioner recognises that this is how the child perceives Jesus due to his stage of development so responds sensitively. “That’s right, you can see pictures and statues of Jesus around the church. And you are right, Sam, Christians believe Jesus can do special things because he is the son of God.” The practitioner is sensitively correcting the child’s perception of Jesus, whilst recognising the underlying thought, modelling the vocabulary to express this thought.

The practitioner then plans for a further time where the children are invited to play with the ‘town’ and during the discussion the adult (using sustained, shared thinking) leads the children into thinking about other special places and they begin talking about their own special places: dens in the gardens, a den under a bed, the willow structure in the outdoor area, a ‘house’, the ‘Odeon’. Children are invited to bring in photographs of their special places and make a class book. They use the writing area with adult support to caption their special places.

Some of the children paint ‘special pictures’ of people, animals and places that are important to them. One child paints her family with a pink circle around them.

A further discussion is planned to look at the toy synagogue and discuss the objects within it. Children relate to the discussion by talking about objects in their own special places. Children draw faces beside the photographs of how the place makes them feel. The teacher introduces the idea of feeling of ‘safe’ alongside ‘special’.

At a later date, a visitor from the neighbouring community comes along to show photographs of their special place, the Gurdwara. She discusses why it is special using new vocabulary such as ‘together’ and ‘important’. The children ask if they can visit and practitioners support them in making phone calls and writing letters to organise transport and a visit to the Gurdwara.

This example links to many aspects of the EYFS areas of development and learning:

Communication, Language and Literacy

 - all aspects

Creative development

- Being Creative - Responding to Experiences, Expressing and Communicating Ideas, Exploring Media and Materials, Developing Imagination and Imaginative Play (the way the children are encouraged to develop their own direction, ideas and imagination whilst playing with the town model).


- Self Confidence and Self Esteem, Making Relationships, Behaviour and Self Control, Sense of Community

Knowledge and Understanding of the World

- Place, Exploration and Investigation, Communities

(Italics denote aspects of development and learning that are skills required in RE.)

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