Early Years Curriculum
The curriculum for children in Blue Whale class is taken from the Statutory Framework for the Early Years Foundation Stage Early Adopter version July 2020. This curriculum provides children with secure foundations for later learning through the following 7 areas of learning and development.
Children mostly develop these essential 3 prime areas first:
- Communication and language
- Physical development
- Personal, social and emotional development.
Followed by these 4 specific areas of:
- Understanding the world
- Expressive arts and design.
Areas of Learning and Development
Communication and language development involves developing children's spoken language by giving children opportunities to experience a rich language environment; which includes conversation and role-play to develop vocabulary and interactions, as well as actively engage in stories, non-fiction, rhymes and poetry so that children are able to express themselves using full sentences.
Physical Development involves providing opportunities for young children to create and play games to develop their fine and gross motor skills in a controlled, proficient and confident way.
Personal, social and emotional development involves helping children to lead healthy and happy lives by building strong, warm and supportive relationships , supporting children to manage their emotions and develop a positive sense of self. Children will learn how to look after their bodies and manage their personal needs independently.
Literacy development involves encouraging children to develop a love of reading by reading to the children a range of stories, poems, songs and non-fiction texts. Alongside this, the children learn to decode and develop their comprehension as well as write single letters, words, phrases and simple sentences.
Mathematics involves providing children with frequent and varied opportunities to build upon and apply their number and spatial reasoning skills. Using manipulatives the children will develop a secure base of knowledge and vocabulary as well as develop positive 'have a go' attitudes, notice patterns and relationships and spot connections.
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, the natural world and events in the past.
Expressive arts and design involves enabling children to engage with the arts, enabling them to explore a wide range of media and materials. Through this, the children will be able to interpret and appreciate what they hear, respond to and observe in art, music, stories, songs, dance, role-play, and technology.
These areas of learning are explored through six different themes across the year:
1. Autumn 1 - Who am I?
2. Autumn 2 - Why things happen?
3. Spring 1 - Can you tell me a story?
4. Spring 2 - Do you know the facts?
5. Summer 1 - What can I see around me?
6. Summer 2 - How do I get there?
How do the children learn?
During the EYFS2 the previously mentioned areas of learning are introduced by playing and exploring (where children investigate and experience things and 'have a go'); through creative and critical thinking ( where children develop their own ideas, make links between their ideas and develop strategies for doing this) and by being active (children concentrate and keep on trying if they encounter difficulties, and enjoy their achievements.
These learning opportunities take place both indoors and outside. Each day the children have the opportunity to participate in direct teaching, child initiated activities where they are encouraged to work together, to share and interact with others and to be independent learners as well as continuous provision using objective-led planning. During this time the children will will have opportunities to explore the small world, engage in role-play, construct using a variety of resources and materials, mark make, share books, join in mathematics or phonics activities and be creative by investigating and experimenting freely by self selecting from a range of easily access material . Each day, the children self-register, enjoy dough disco as well as listening to a story at the end of the day.
The Early Learning Goals set out what is expected attainment by most children by the end of the Early Years (Reception). At the end of the academic year when a child turns 5, the teacher completes the ‘Early Years Foundation Stage Profile’. This is used to help the year 1 teacher plan lessons for the children.