CURRICULUM

Following the national curriculum for early years

We believe that every child deserves the best possible start in life and we support them to fulfil their potential. Our aim is to provide a safe, caring, secure environment where children are nurtured to develop their skills, knowledge and attitudes from first hand experiences.

“Children benefit greatly from a rich variety of hands-on and real life experiences…. developing positive attitudes to learning” Ofsted 2016

Using the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) as a framework, activities are child centred with their abilities and interests being fully addressed. This Framework is underpinned by four principals:

  1. A Unique Child – Every child is a competent learner from birth who can be resilient, capable, confident and self-assured.
  2. Positive Relationships – Children learn to be strong and independent from a base of loving and secure relationships with parents and/or a key person.
  3. Learning and Development – Children develop and learn in different ways and at different rates and all areas of Learning and Development are equally important and inter-connected.
  4. Enabling Environments – The environment plays a key role in supporting and extending children’s development and learning.

This framework encompasses the Seven Areas of Learning and Development in which the Pre-School staff use as a guideline to monitor children’s progress, these are:

The Prime Areas of learning are:

  • Personal, social and emotional development– The children learn to make relationships and demonstrate friendly behaviour. They learn confidence in asking for help and choosing their own activities.  They learn to take turns and adapt to changes in routine.
  • Communication and language– Talking and listening is encouraged by involving the children in activities that will interest them and hold their attention. An awareness of letters and sound (phonics) is introduced with such activities as discriminating between sounds (instruments, body percussion, etc.), moving with rhythm, rhyming words, matching initial sounds (alliteration) and blending speech sounds (phonemes) to make a word
  • Physical development- The children are encouraged to try different ways of moving and using equipment and have an awareness of safety. They learn to use mark making tools to draw lines and circles and begin to copy some letters. They develop awareness of self-care and wash and dry their hands, beginning to understand that hygiene contributes to good health.

The Specific Areas of learning are:

  • Literacy- Reading is encouraged with children accessing a well-stocked book corner. Stories and rhymes are regular activities throughout the sessions. Writing is encouraged and mark making materials are available in all areas.  Children are encouraged to write captions on their artwork and write letters of their name. Children take part in fortnightly visits to the local library.
  • Mathematics- Number language is introduced in all areas of play and regular activities address space, shape and measure. The inside and outdoor environments support mathematical development; our cuckoo clock supports counting, number recognition and time telling skills. Children are provided with opportunities to predict, problem solve, count and record.
  • Understanding the World– We support the children’s awareness of people and communities with photos and activities celebrating diversity. The children learn about the environment with topics and exploration. We provide many hands on learning experiences such as hatching chicks, planting and growing food, caring for our pet guinea pigs and visitors to Pre-school such as the fire brigade, local police officer, animals and more. The children’s understanding of technology is supported with access to mechanical toys, cameras and tablets.
  • Expressive Arts and Design- The children have access to a wide variety of materials, paints, paper, glue, playdough, gloop, sand & foam, etc., allowing them opportunities to be creative and imaginative. We use The Little Magic Train music and movement programme to support creativity and imaginative movement. http://www.littlemagictrain.com/early_years_foundation_framework.html

Planning and Assessment:

We use our observation of children’s interests and developmental opportunities to plan our experiences and activities. Our aim is to provide a good mix of adult directed teaching and child initiated learning.

We support the uniqueness of each and every child; key persons observe and plan learning experiences for each of their key children over the week.  This ensures every child’s learning opportunities are tailored to support their own development path and enables them to make good progress.