The Early Years Foundation Stage Curriculum
At Newchurch, we aim to work as partners with parents to develop children who are lively, enthusiastic and self-motivated learners who can learn independently or as part of a team and who can communicate effectively.
Children in our Reception follow the Early Years Foundation Stage Curriculum. The Reception Class follow themes linked to the children’s interests and can therefore change from year to year.
The areas of learning and development
There are seven areas of learning and development that shape educational programmes in early years settings. All areas of learning and development are important and inter-connected. Three areas are particularly crucial for igniting children’s curiosity and enthusiasm for learning, and for building their capacity to learn, form relationships and thrive. These three areas, the prime areas, are:
• communication and language
• physical development
• personal, social and emotional development.
We also support children in four specific areas, through which the three prime areas are strengthened and applied. The specific areas are:
• understanding the world
• expressive arts and design
Communication and language development involves giving children opportunities to:
- experience a rich language environment
- develop their confidence and skills in expressing themselves
- speak and listen in a range of situations.
Physical development involves providing opportunities for young children to:
- be active and interactive and to develop their co-ordination, control, and movement
- understand the importance of physical activity
- make healthy choices in relation to food.
Personal, social and emotional development involves helping children to:
- develop a positive sense of themselves and others
- form positive relationships and develop respect for others
- develop social skills and learn how to manage their feelings
- understand appropriate behaviour in groups
- have confidence in their own abilities.
Literacy development involves encouraging children to:
- link sounds and letters and to begin to read and write
- access to a wide range of reading materials (books, poems, and other written materials) to ignite their interest.
Mathematics involves providing children with opportunities to:
- develop and improve their skills in counting, understanding and using numbers, calculate simple addition and subtraction problems
- describe shapes, spaces, and measures
Understanding the world involves guiding 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.
Expressive arts and design involves enabling children to:
- explore and play with a wide range of media and materials
- experience 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
In planning the curriculum we consider the individual needs, interests, and stage of development of each child in our care and provide a curriculum which is matched to those needs. Opportunities for learning through Unique Child experiences (where the interests of a child are shared with the whole group) and Invite a Guest sessions (where parents are invited to come into school and learn alongside their child) all enhance the curriculum.
We value play as the main way in which Early Years children learn. Each area of learning and development is implemented through planned, purposeful play and through a mix of adult-led and child-initiated activity. Play is essential for children’s development, building their confidence as they learn to explore, to think about problems, and relate to others. Children learn by leading their own play, and by taking part in play which is guided by adults.
In planning and guiding children’s activities we also consider the different ways children learn. Three characteristics of effective learning are:
- playing and exploring - children investigate and experience things, and ‘have a go’;
- active learning - children concentrate and keep on trying if they encounter difficulties, and enjoy achievements; and
- creating and thinking critically - children have and develop their own ideas, make links between ideas, and develop strategies for doing things.
More information about the Early Years Foundation Stage Curriculum can be found at http://www.education.gov.uk/schools/teachingandlearning/curriculum/a0068102/early-years-foundation-stage-eyfs