What is a Schema?

Does your child repeat an activity over and over again? Do they enjoy learning through repeated play and actions? This is known as a ‘Schema!’.

Many children learn through schemas. “A schema is a pattern of repeated actions. Clusters of schemas develop into later concepts” (Athey, 2007)

A schema is often described as a child’s fascination and is essential to a child’s brain development.

What schema might your child learn through? Here are some of the most common!

  • Trajectory – creating lines in space by climbing up and jumping down. Dropping items from up high.
  • Positioning – lining items up and putting them in groups.
  • Enveloping – covering themselves or objects completely. Wrapping items up or placing them in containers.
  • Rotating – enjoys spinning items round and round. Likes to run around in circles or being swung round.
  • Enclosing – adding boundaries to play areas e.g. fences around animals. Adding borders to pictures.
  • Transporting – carrying or moving items from one place to another; carrying items in containers or bags.
  • Connecting – setting out and dismantling tracks, constructing, joining items together with tape or glue.
  • Transforming – exploring the changing states of materials, transforming them from a solid to liquid state and back again.
  • Orienteering – an interest in positioning themselves or objects in different places or positions e.g upside down or on their side.

(Schemas | PACEY)

Being able to recognise your child’s schemas when they are shown will enable you to extend your child’s learning, assuring they are learning through their individual interests.

If you would like more information on each schema, or some ideas for activities at home please contact your child’s key person in the setting. We would love to help!