Children in Early Years follow the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) statutory framework as the basis for their curriculum. Children in Key Stage One and Two follow the National Curriculum.
There are four guiding principles that shape the practice in our Early Years. These are:
- every child is a unique child, who is constantly learning and can be resilient, capable, confident and self-assured;
- children learn to be strong and independent through positive relationships;
- children learn and develop well in enabling environments, in which their experiences respond to their individual needs and there is a strong partnership between practitioners and parents and/or carers; and
- Children develop and learn in different ways and at different rates. The framework covers the education and care of all children in early years provision, including children with special educational needs and disabilities.
Learning in our EYFS is play based with a mixture of child initiated learning and teacher initiated learning.
There are seven areas of learning and development that shape our curriculum. All areas are important and inter-connected, though three areas are particularly crucial to ensure children’s curiosity and enthusiasm and for building the children’s capacity to learn, form relationships and thrive. These are referred to as the prime areas.
There are also four specific areas of the curriculum through which the prime areas are strengthened and applied.
The Prime Areas
- Communication and language
- Physical Development
- Personal, social and emotional development
The Specific Areas
- Understanding the world
- Expressive arts and design
Communication and language focuses on giving children opportunities to experience a rich language environment; to develop their confidence and skills expressing themselves; and to speak and listen in a range of situations.
Physical Development involves providing opportunities for children to be active and interactive and to develop their co-ordination, control and movement. Children are helped to understand the importance of being active and of making healthy choices in the food they eat.
Personal, social and emotional development involves helping children develop a positive sense of themselves, and of others so they are able to form good relationships and develop respect for others. Children will learn social skills and how to manage their feelings. They are helped to understand appropriate behaviour in groups and to have confidence in their own abilities.
Literacy development encourages children to link sounds and letters to enable them to begin to read and write. To achieve this and to ignite their interest in reading and writing they are given access to a wide variety of books and reading materials.
Mathematics involves giving children the opportunities to develop their skills in counting, understanding and using numbers, calculating and applying these skills to simple addition and subtraction problems. Mathematics is wider than numbers. It also includes developing skills to describe shapes and spaces and to use a variety of simple measures. Much time will be spent developing children’s mathematical vocabulary.
Understanding the world enables children to make sense of the world they live in and their community through opportunities to explore, observe and find out about people, places, technology and the environment.
Expressive arts and design enables children to explore and play with a wide variety of media and materials. They will be enabled to share their thoughts, feelings and ideas through art, music, movement, dance, role play and design and technology.
Topics are not fixed in the Early Years as it is important to respond to children’s interests and needs. Staff will inform parents of the topics being covered throughout the year.