Play-based learning app for primary teachers launched in UAE

Seenaryo Playkit phone app provides play-based learning activities and training for teachers of 3 to 8 year olds

  
Play-based learning app for primary teachers launched in UAE
  • Platform selected by ‘Expo Live’, Expo Dubai 2020’s showcase of global innovators

Abu Dhabi: The Seenaryo Playkit, a phone app and training course that enables and inspires kindergarten and primary school teachers to deliver their curriculum through play, music, storytelling, and interactive games has been launched in the UAE.

Created by the charity Seenaryo, a leading regional specialist in participatory theatre and play-based learning, the Seenaryo Playkit grants teachers access to hundreds of English and Arabic how-to videos, music tracks, flashcards, and step-by-step instructions to engage with their students through play.

Ahead of its roll-out to schools in the UAE, the Seenaryo Playkit was selected by ‘Expo Live’, Expo Dubai 2020’s showcase of global innovators that are leading impactful social ventures within their communities. The charity was one of 140 organisations from more than 11,000 applicants selected to take part in the programme.

Co-director of Seenaryo, Oscar Wood, said: “The Seenaryo Playkit is a shortcut to holistic, 21st century teaching. While in essence an edtech innovation, the aim of the Playkit is to get teachers and children interacting face to face – up from their desks and away from screens through playing, singing and storytelling.

“We are delighted to bring this play-based resource to teachers, tutors and schools in the UAE, a country that places ever-increasing emphasis on both edtech and the wellbeing and development of its young people. Our thanks go again to Expo Live for recognising the value Seenaryo Playkit can bring to teachers, and the importance of getting children participating in their own learning.”

Seenaryo was founded in 2015, at first working with Syrian refugees in Lebanon and Jordan, and leading theatre projects in refugee camps. The charity quickly saw a need for an interactive and artistic approach to early years education and in 2017 went on to pilot the Seenaryo Playkit with three large NGOs: the International Rescue Committee, Caritas Lebanon, and Ana Aqra.

Since then, the Playkit has reached more than 120 schools, 1,500 teachers – who are offered a three-day intensive training programme on the tool – and 38,000 children in Lebanon and Jordan.

In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, Seenaryo was commissioned in 2020 to turn the Playkit into a distance learning programme for parents and caregivers teaching their children at home. Since May 2020, Seenaryo has sent Playkit activities each week via WhatsApp to over 5,500 families across Lebanon and Jordan.

Commenting on the COVID-19 distance learning programme, Wood added: “Having evaluated our impact in Lebanon over the course of the pandemic, we found that over 93% of families participated actively, and 98% of participating children improved in line with the Lebanese Ministry of Education’s milestones. This is not only an excellent outcome for children who did not attend any in-person school for two terms, but a true testament to the positive impact of interactive, play-based learning.”

Since its foundation, Seenaryo has trained 1,500 teachers, created 58 original theatre productions, reaching a total number of 64,000 beneficiaries in the UK, Lebanon and Jordan.

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About Seenaryo

Seenaryo is a leading specialist in participatory theatre and play-based teaching for marginalised communities in Lebanon and Jordan. Having reached 64,000 children, youth and women to date, Seenaryo uses theatre and play to transform education and equip people with the tools to collaborate, think critically and build transferable skills.

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