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Curriculum Plan

Early Years Foundation Stage Curriculum

We follow the British Curriculum of the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS). This is a play-based principled approach to childhood experiences and learning, which maps child development, sets standards of care and lays out what is expected of most children by the time they move onto Key Stage 1.

The EYFS Principles:
  1. A Unique Child – development, inclusion, safety, health and well-being

  2. Positive Relationships – respect, partnership with parents, supporting learning and the role of the key person.

  3. Enabling Environments – observation, assessment and planning, support for every child, the learning environment and the wider community (transitions, continuity, multi-agency working).

  4. Learning and Development – areas of learning are equally important and inter-connected.

(The British Association for Early Childhood Education August 2015)

We should still be aware of the diverse learning needs of our children, however, and not rely too heavily on these age related goals. The Foundation Stage is not a race and children will reach these levels all in their own time.

Our teachers’ planning focuses on the children’s individual needs, their interests and their stages of development. All areas are equally important and cannot be delivered in isolation, so they are delivered through planned, purposeful play, with a balance of adult-led and child-led activities.

With this in mind, the Early Years Education we offer our children is based on the following principles:

  • It builds on what our children already know and can do;

  • It ensures that no child is excluded or disadvantaged;

  • It offers a structure for learning that has a range of starting points, content that matches the needs of young children and activity that provides opportunities for learning both indoors and outdoors;

  • It provides a secure, rich, challenging and stimulating environment.

Seven Learning Areas

Our Kindergarten Curriculum is developed in accordance with the three Prime Learning Areas and four Specific Learning Areas in the Early Years Foundation stepping stones. The Prime Areas are fundamental areas of focus throughout EYFS, whilst the Specific Areas include essential skills and knowledge which develop the prime areas and provide important contexts for learning.

Prime Areas:

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.

 

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.

 

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.

Specific Areas:

Literacy development involves encouraging children to link sounds and letters and to begin to read and write. Children must be 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.

(The British Association for Early Childhood Education August 2015)

Each Prime and Specific Area of learning has laid out Early Learning Goals (ELGs), which establish the expectations for most children by the end of the EYFS.  The Practice Guidance for the Early Years Foundation Stage (part of EYFS) pack sets out the ELGs and breaks down the steps before each one into age related bands. At Jing Jing we use these ELGs to monitor and record the progress of our children in the form of a ‘Learning Journal’ within the Student Portfolio, which contains a collection of different documents to provide a picture of a child’s development through the years under the areas of learning identified in the EYFS. The portfolio consists of photos, artwork, mark-making, writing with observations made including notes of relevant conversations or comments made by the child. The aim is to build a unique picture of what each child knows, feels and can do as well as her particular interests and learning style. This picture can then be used to pinpoint learning priorities and plan relevant and motivating learning experiences.