FS Curriculum Guide
EARLY YEARS FOUNDATION STAGE
Acquiring the skills for effective learning is central to the development of our children in Early Years Foundation Stage. Effective learning plays a key role in a child”s learning development and in becoming an effective learner. These are vital elements of support for the transition process from EYFS to Year 1. The EYFS curriculum is divided into three key characteristics of effective learning and these are underpinned by seven areas of learning development. The three holistic key characteristics of effective learning are:
PLAYING AND EXPLORING – ENGAGEMENT
Finding out and exploring is concerned with the child”s “hands-on” experiences. This is borne out from their curiosity, providing sensory material from which the child builds concepts, tests ideas and finds out.
Using what they know in their play describes how children use play to bring together their current understandings, combining, refining and exploring their ideas in imaginative ways. Children are encouraged to “have a go”. This refers to the child finding an interest, initiating activities, seeking challenges, having a “can do” orientation, being willing to take a risk in new experiences, and developing the view of failure as opportunities to learn.
ACTIVE LEARNING – MOTIVATION
Children being involved in activities they are interested in and curious about, will increase concentration and motivation. The push to keep trying teaches children to not give up, even in the face of challenge or difficulties. Being able to enjoy achieving what they set out to do is crucial for each child to meet goals and build on motivation which supports long-term success, rather than relying on the approval of those around the child.
CREATING AND CRITICALLY THINKING
Having their own ideas and developing these are an important area of creativity and generating new ideas and approaches in all areas of development. Being inventive allows children to find new problems as they seek challenge, and to explore ways of solving these. Using what they already know to learn new things means children develop and link concepts. They begin to find meaning in sequence, cause and effect which encourages creative and scientific thought patterns. Choosing ways to do things and finding new ways involves approaching goal-directed activity in organised ways.
Children begin to make choices and decisions about how to approach tasks, planning and monitoring what to do and being able to change strategies. In line with current UK practice we offer our children a balance of adult-led and child initiated activities. This is done through opportunities to work as a class as well as in small groups, allowing us to offer a tailored and personalised approach to learning. Teachers will support effective learning by focusing on the seven areas of child development. Many of the activities that children engage in develop skills in more than one of these areas at a time and each area will be revisited throughout your child”s time in EYFS.
The specific areas of learning
The following support and strengthen the three prime areas of learning mentioned above Literacy Stories, chants and rhymes are a stimulus for many of the activities that we develop in class. Children are encouraged to see the links between letters and sounds through a structured phonics programme which gives children skills that will help them on their path to reading and writing.
Children are supported when developing their understanding of numbers, shape and measure in a broad range of contexts in which they can explore, enjoy, learn, practice and talk about their developing understanding. They are provided with opportunities to practice and extend their skills in these areas and to gain confidence and competence in their use. Numbers: we offer opportunities of learning to enable children to count with numbers from 1 to 20, place them in order and say which is one more or one less than a given number. Using different objects we encourage the children to add and subtract two single-digit numbers and count on or back to find the answer. They will be able to solve problems, including doubling, halving and sharing.
Shape, space and measures: using everyday language our children are encouraged to talk about size, weight, capacity, position, distance, time and money to compare numbers and objects and to solve problems. They are able to recognise, create and describe patterns, exploring everyday objects and shapes and using mathematical language to describe them.
Understanding the world
Children are supported in developing their knowledge, skills and understanding to help them to make sense of the world. Their learning is supported through offering opportunities for them to use a range of tools safely; encounter creatures, people, plants and objects in their natural environments and in real-life situations; undertake practical “experiments” and work with a range of materials.
Expressive arts and design
Children”s creativity is extended by the provision of support for their curiosity, exploration and play. They are provided with opportunities to explore and share their thoughts, ideas and feelings, for example, through a variety of art, music, movement, dance, imaginative and role-play activities, mathematics, and design and technology.
(EYFS English National Curriculum 2014)