Early Years Curriculum
The curriculum for children in Blue Whale class is taken from the Statutory Framework for the Early Years Foundation Stage 2012. 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 giving children opportunities to experience a rich language environment; to develop their confidence and skills in expressing themselves; and to 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. Children must also be helped to understand the importance of physical activity, and to make healthy choices in relation to food.
Personal, social and emotional development involves helping children to develop a positive sense of themselves, and others; to form positive relationships and develop respect for others; to develop social skills and learn how to manage their feelings; to understand appropriate behaviour in groups; and to have confidence in their own abilities.
Literacy development involves encouraging children to link sounds and letters and to begin to read and write. Children are given 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, calculating simple addition and subtraction problems, and to 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, as well as providing 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.
These areas of learning are explored through six different themes across the year:
Autumn 1 Who am I?
Autumn 2 How do we celebrate?
Spring 1 What do we like to eat?
Spring 2 Will you read me a story?
Summer 1 Are we there yet?
Summer 2 What lives here?
How do the children learn?
During the EYFS2 the previously mentioned areas of learning are introduced by playing and exploring and through creative and critical thinking which takes place both indoors and outside. Each day the staff will set out different activities in carefully designated areas of the room. Throughout the week staff change the activities depending upon the interest level of an activity.
During the day the children will have the opportunity to participate in child initiated activities where they are encouraged to work together, to share and interact with others and to be independent learners as well as adult led activities which may be as part of a group or on their own. During this time the children will work upon a particular curriculum area. They will have opportunities to listen to stories, listen to a variety of music, play percussion instruments, and develop fine motor skills such as cutting out or drawing, be creative or join in maths or phonics activities.
Children go out to play throughout the year, weather permitting. Outdoor play is structured by setting out activities linked to the theme of the week. The staff plan activities to cater for all developmental areas. This is a time of freedom; the children move spontaneously and creatively without the constraints of the classroom and develop overall body control (gross motor control).
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.