Our curriculum is the EYFS for children from birth to age 5,which was implemented in England in 2008 and revised in 2017. It is for all children, including those with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities. This curriculum is followed throughout Foundation 1 and Foundation 2.
Our teaching is based on the Characteristics of Effective Learning:
- Playing and exploring
- Active Learning
- Creating and thinking critically
Our learning environment is set up with furniture and resources for children to have rich and stimulating experiences, based on these Characteristics of Effective Learning. It is carefully planned to encourage engagement, motivation and thinking, and has well organised resources that children can easily access. It provides the structure for teaching within which children explore, experiment, plan and make decisions for themselves, thus enabling them to learn, develop and make good progress.
The indoor and outdoor environments are continually reviewed – based on staff observation and reflection, and these allow children sustained periods of time to become engrossed in learning.
We aim to meet children’s desires to: move freely and use all their senses; talk, listen, ask questions and communicate; build and construct; represent and make; role-play; hear stories and imagine. Children start each day in their key groups for a taught session, which may focus on English, Maths, PSED or Phonics. They then have a healthy snack and drink during which time there are opportunities to explore Communication and Language in key groups. They then self-select activities during ‘free-flow’, where they choose whether to play indoors or outside. During this time they have access to the wide range of activities and have time to enjoy sustained play and develop deeper thinking. They are closely observed and challenged by our experienced and knowledgeable staff, who continuously review each child’s learning and development.
This high quality learning environment supports children’s confidence and behaviour; social and emotional competence – playing alone, with other children and with adults; Independence – self-selection, being able to find what is needed and to return it; and motivation – self- directed, self-challenged and focused on ideas that matter to them.
The four core principles of the EYFS are:
- Unique Child – recognises that every child is unique and can be resilient, capable, confident and self-assured.
- Positive Relationships – describes how children learn to be strong and independent.
- Enabling Environments – describes how children learn in environments which respond to their individual needs and there is a strong bond between practitioners and parents and carers.
- Learning and Development – recognises that children learn and develop in different ways.
Through play in a secure environment with effective adult support, children will focus on the following areas of learning:
Personal, Social and Emotional Development – Making relationships. Self-confidence and Self-awareness. Managing feelings and behaviour
Children are provided with experiences and support to develop a sense of themselves and others, to respect others, to learn social skills and to enjoy learning. Children will develop a growing understanding of what is right and wrong, the impact of their actions on themselves and others, how to care for themselves, and to understand and respect other cultures and beliefs. All activities support the development of children’s self-confidence and self- esteem.
Physical Development – Moving and Handling. Health and Self-care
Children will learn to be active and interactive, to improve their skills of co-ordination, control, manipulation and movement. They will be supported in using all of their senses to learn about the world around them and to make healthy choices in relation to food, exercise and their body.
Communication and Language – Listening and attention. Understanding. Speaking
Children are supported in developing competence and confidence in listening and holding attention when someone speaks to them; understanding; and speaking; and to use these skills in a variety of situations and for a range of purposes.
Literacy – Reading. Writing
Children will be taught to enjoy books, stories and rhymes. They will learn to handle books correctly and to begin to learn to read. Children will be given opportunities indoors and outside, to make marks and to learn to write for different purposes. This might be to learn to write their name, to make a shopping list, to take a telephone message or to write a card.
Mathematics – Numbers. Shape, space and measures
Children will learn about numbers as labels and for counting, about calculating and developing an understanding of adding and taking away and comparisons, and about shape, space and measurement. They are offered opportunities to count, sort, match, thread and order.
Understanding the World – People and Communities. The world. Technology
Children will investigate objects and materials and their properties, learn about change and patterns, similarities and differences and question how and why things work. They will learn about the construction process and the tools and techniques that can be used to assemble materials. Children will find out about computers, programmable toys and other I.C.T equipment. They will find out about past and present events relevant to their lives and begin to know about their own and other people’s cultures in order to understand and celebrate similarities and differences. Children will also learn about their world, about the natural world and about their local area, knowing what they like and dislike about it.
Expressive Arts and Design – Exploring and using media and materials. Being imaginative
Children’s creativity will be extended in a variety of ways using their senses, a wide range of media and materials with arts and crafts, exploring music, singing and dance and developing imagination through play.