At ‘Little Explorers’ our preschool curriculum is an informal course of learning, working within the Early Years Foundation Stage. The Early Years Foundation Stage is set out in a document published by the DfES and is the framework to ensure that every child has the best possible start in life, and support to fill their potential. The frame work divides children’s learning into 3 prime areas and 4 specific areas of learning and development. Combined together, the seven areas of learning provide opportunities to address important aspects of children’s spiritual, moral, social, and cultural development.
The prime areas begin to develop quickly in response to relationships and experiences, and run through and support learning in all other areas. The prime areas continue to be fundamental throughout the EYFS.
The specific areas include essential skills and knowledge. They grow out of the prime areas, and provide important contexts for learning.
Click to download – EYFS_STATUTORY_FRAMEWORK_2017
Your child will mostly be taught through play, exploration, active learning and creating.
The 3 prime areas of learning are:
- communication and language
- physical development
- personal, social and emotional development
The 4 specific area of learning are:
- understanding the world
- expressive arts and design
Play, exploration and active learning
The Early Years Foundation Stage states that children’s play reflects their wide ranging and varied interests and preoccupations. In their play children learn at their highest level. Play with peers is important for children’s development. Children learn best through physical and mental challenges. Active learning involves other people, objects, ideas and events that engage and involve children for sustained periods.
In the Birth to Three room, we base our activities and experiences on the babies and young children’s current interests. We provide for each child’s learning journey and their interests through personalised activities and experiences, incorporating adding extra accessible resources to extend their play and adult support. These activities and experiences promote the prime areas of learning and development. For example if a child is interested in farms we provide activities like farm animals in the sand or soil play, tyre printing and welly boot painting.
In the Foundation Stage room there is a backdrop to learning which is changed each half term which incorporates children’s interests and surrounding environments i.e. seasons. The backdrop to learning includes a variety of planned activities – for indoors, outdoors, adult initiated and child initiated, to support all areas of learning and development. Each child has an individual learning journey which is tailored to meet their interests and needs. These are produced each term by the key person and parents/carers working in cohesion to support the child’s learning and development.
In both rooms every child has a unique child’s learning and development folder. These folders contain an all about me booklet, routines (for children under three years old), a parent/carer feedback sheet to record any comments and termly meetings, a unique child development record with supportive observations, photos and children’s work i.e drawings. These files are available to parents / carers daily who are able to take them home to look through and record any comments. We actively encourage parents / carers to contribute to these folders by sharing information about their child with us and add their observations of their child on yellow observation sheet which is available to access independently in both rooms. We offer termly meetings with parents/carers to discuss their child’s achievements and/or any concerns, and their learning journeys.
Parents are children’s first and most enduring educators. When parents/carers and practitioners work together in early years settings, the results have a positive impact on children’s development and learning. Therefore we strive to work with parents and carers, this is achieved through the close relationships established via the key person approach. Parents/carers are encouraged to write down any of their child’s achievements or interests they have shown at home. This promotes shared record keeping and the observations are included in their child’s learning and development folder. Parents/carers have access to their child’s learning and development folders and key persons offer formal meetings each term to discuss children’s achievements. We encourage parents/carers to play an active part in the setting, whether joining the committee or contributing their skills, knowledge and interests to the activities of the setting. Additionally we operate an open door policy where parents/carers are welcome to come and discuss any valuable ideas or concerns at any time.