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Early Years Foundations Stages

Early Years Curriculum

We believe that early childhood is the foundation on which children build the rest of their lives. Early childhood is not just preparation for the next stage – it is vitally important in itself.

We believe that children develop through testing and challenging the environment they are in. We provide opportunities for children to experience and take risks for themselves, without exposing them to danger.

Children are individuals and learn in small steps. We create a safe and supportive environment, providing challenges that allow individual children to grow and develop at their own pace.

Play is a child’s work and it is the natural way for them to learn. Children are stimulated to challenge their play environment through exploration, investigation and making independent choices.

In play:

  • Children develop emotionally, intellectually, morally, physically, spiritually and socially. All these aspects are linked and equally important.
  • Young children do not separate their learning into subjects, they learn from everything that happens to them and around them.
  • Children need to be actively involved in first-hand experiences that are relevant and purposeful.
  • Children need access to a curriculum that is flexible in meeting individual needs and interests.
  • Adults need to be sensitive to children’s needs and abilities and intervene appropriately to extend their learning.

The curriculum we provide for the children includes the physical environment, planned and unplanned activities, and the way that we, as adults, interact with the children. We encourage the children to initiate their own activities, try out their own ideas and pick their own resources.  The adult’s role is then to question, support, observe and extend the child’s play.

The Early Years Foundation Stage

The Early Years Foundation Stage Curriculum provides advice and guidance on learning and development needs of children from birth to the end of their school reception year. Find out more about The Early Years Foundation Stage here. It describes the following seven areas of learning:

Personal, Social and Emotional Development

These early learning goals focus on children learning how to work, play, co-operate with others and function in a group beyond the family. They cover important aspects of personal, social, moral and spiritual development, including the development of personal values and an understanding of self and others. Learning in this area of development enables children to learn in the other areas.

Mathematics

These early learning goals cover important aspects of mathematics and provide the foundations for numeracy. They focus on achievement through practical activities and on using and understanding language in the development of simple mathematical ideas.

Communication & Language

These goals cover important aspects of language development and provide the foundations for literacy. Children are helped to acquire competence in English as soon as possible, making use, where appropriate, of their developing understanding and skills in other languages. The goals focus on children’s developing competence in talking and listening and in becoming readers and writers. Other areas of listening also make a vital contribution to the successful development of literacy.

Literacy

These goals focus on understanding that words have meanings and can convey a variety of different meanings, for example facts, rhyming and names. Other skills in this area of development can include listening and talking in order for children to become competent readers and writers.

Understanding of the World

These outcomes focus on children’s developing knowledge and understanding of their environment, other people and features of the natural and made world. They provide a foundation for historical, geographical, scientific and technological learning.

Physical Development

These goals focus on children’s developing physical control, mobility, awareness of space and manipulative skills in indoor and outdoor environments. They include establishing positive attitudes towards a healthy and active way of life.

Expressive arts & Design

These outcomes focus on the development of children’s imagination and their ability to communicate and to express ideas and feelings in creative ways.

The curriculum is delivered through:

Continuous Provision

This describes the daily provisions of the nursery. It is the procedure of having a constant, ready supply of essential equipment and materials on offer, from which children can make choices and direct their own play.

Enhanced Provision

This is used to describe the additions made to continuous provisions to support individuals or groups of children with a particular interest.

Directed Play

This is adult led. Through observations of the children, staff choose an activity  / opportunity to encourage or develop a particular area of learning.

Child Initiated

This is when a child takes part in a self chosen activity. It is a specific requirement for the Early Years Foundation Stage

Play Based Learning

A play based curriculum is enhanced by high standards of staff, equipment and resources, with daily activities based on the new Early Years Foundation Stage curriculum. This is divided into four areas of learning:

  • A unique child
  • Positive relationships
  • Enabling development
  • Learning and development

These cover all of the learning areas:

  • Communication, language and literacy
  • Personal, social and emotional development
  • Mathematical development
  • Knowledge and understanding of the World
  • Physical development
  • Creative development

All of our indoor and outdoor activities are aimed at developing children’s self esteem, confidence and social skills through the use of the above strategies.

Outside Play at the Nursery

Children are encouraged to play and learn in the external environment to develop their independence at every opportunity. Their needs and interests are nurtured in supportive ways, whilst experienced practitioners challenge their learning potential.

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