The Early Years Foundation Stage Curriculum
The curriculum is divided up into 7 areas for learning. There are three prime areas that are crucial in igniting children’s curiosity and enthusiasm for learning.
Communication and language
Communication and language development involves giving the children opportunities to experience a language rich environment, to develop their confidence and skills in expressing themselves and to speak and listen in a range of situations.
The children use these skills daily in a range of contexts in pairs and groups when discussing new themes or concepts and reviewing their activities in MOOT time. The children also use talk to explain, explore and re-create stories, rhymes and events. The children will have the opportunity to use i-pods and cameras to record their own speaking skills as a record of their own learning!
This area involves providing opportunities for young children to be active and interactive and to develop their co-ordination, control and movement. Children must also be helped to understand the importance of physical activity and to make healthy choices in relation to food.
This is planned in a variety of fun ways. ‘Clever hands’ directly targets the fine motor skills need for writing, cutting, making and manipulating a range of objects and materials, whilst the children engage in a range of ‘active’ activities as part of the daily routine and as planned P.E. sessions.
Personal, Social and Emotional Development
Involves helping the children to develop a positive sense of themselves and others; to form positive relationships and develop respect for others; to develop social skills and learn how to manage their feelings; to understand appropriate behaviour in groups and have confidence in their own abilities.
This area of learning plays a key role in developing the whole child. It builds upon the school rules, to enable children to learn to share, make friends, sort out disputes and develop as a valued member of our school community. We ensure that all children are aware of how to be successful and understand how to make the right choices, we create a ‘can do’ culture and reward the children for all their achievements.
There are also four specific areas, through which the three prime areas are strengthened and applied. These are:
This involves encouraging the children to read and write. Children will be given access to a wide range of reading materials (books poems and other written materials) to ignite their interest.
The children will learn about how stories and information texts are structured, creating and using their own puppets, drawings, sounds and letters and to begin to readbooks, and captions. A range of essential reading skills are taught, recognising key words, combined with phonic knowledge and a range of other strategies to enable the children to quickly and effectively become independent young readers. These are active, fun and engaging sessions creating a love of books and reading!
The ‘Jolly Phonics’ scheme is used to introduce letter sounds. We start to introduce letter sounds during the first half term. Each sound has a story and an action to help your child remember it. The children play a range of word and sentence games.
We value any writing attempts that your child makes. As the children become more confident with their letter sounds, they begin to make the link between the sounds and letter shapes that they are learning in phonics and the need to show these when writing. We always encourage children to ‘have a go’ at writing, representing the sounds in the order in which they occur in words.
Handwriting is initially taught as mark making activities in ‘Clever Hands’ time. The children move in response and make marks on paper such as zig - zags, waves and straight lines. This then leads into more formal handwriting activities during phonics activities when appropriate. However the children do start to learn to write their name as soon as they start as this is fundamental part of their daily routine.
Involves providing children with opportunities to develop and improve their skills in counting, understanding and using numbers, calculating and simple addition and subtraction problems and to describe shapes, spaces and measures.
All the work we do in maths is through practical activities with plenty of opportunities to develop their mental and oral skills in mathematical development.
Understanding the World
Involves guiding the children to make sense of their physical world and their community through opportunities to explore, observe and find out about people, places, technology and the environment.
The children use their senses to explore the natural environment and begin to make comparisons, recognising similarities and differences.
ICT is used to enhance the learning and development of all children, we have a range of computers, software, Bee-bots, cameras, i pods, and laptops that the children have regular access to. Construction toys play a vital role in children using a range of tools and techniques to build and construct. They reflect upon their own models, adapting and amending where necessary.
Expressive Arts and Design
Involves enabling the children to explore and play with a wide range of media and materials, as well as providing opportunities and encouragement for sharing their thoughts, ideas, and feelings through a variety of activities in art, music, movement, dance, role-play, and design and technology.
The children will develop their art, music and role play skills. The children will experience a variety of art skills such as mixing powder paints, junk modelling, printing and collage to explore colour line and texture. Exciting role play areas fully equipped with dressing-up clothes and props both inside and out enable the children to use imaginary play. Small World Stations of toys such as dinosaurs, dolls house are used for imaginary play.