All pre-school settings, including our nursery, are required to plan and provide a curriculum that enables children to make progress towards the Early Learning Goals.
The Early Learning Goals are a set of expectations that most children should achieve by the end of the Foundation Stage. E.g. ‘Count reliably up to ten everyday objects’, is one of the Early Learning Goals for mathematics.
The Foundation Stage is so called because it lays the foundations for children’s later learning. It begins at the age of three, when children come into nursery or any other type of pre-school education and continues until children reach the end of the reception year at school. They then move to Year 1and enter the first Key Stage. This is Key Stage 1, previously known as the infant stage.
Our aim is to provide a wide range of ‘learning through play’ experiences that attract children’s interest and curiosity and help to develop some of the early skills in order to lay the foundations for future learning. In our nursery, as in most others, the curriculum is based on six main areas of learning.
Personal and Social Development
This area of learning focuses on developing children’s ability and confidence to work and play independently, co-operate with others and how to deal with different emotions. It also includes Religious Education and awareness of different cultures etc.
Language and Literacy
Perhaps the greatest gift we can give our children is the gift of communication. The area of Language and Literacy covers important aspects of language development such as speaking and listening and encouraging the early stages of reading and writing.
Mathematics is developed mainly through practical activities, games and learning through play. Activities are planned to provide experiences linked to counting, numbers, shape and size and to develop basic mathematical language such as more and less.
Knowledge and Understanding of the World
This area of learning provides experiences related to science, design technology, history, geography and information technology. Activities/experiences include working on the computer, designing and making models, investigating the environment around us, and bringing children’s own early experiences and history into the classroom.
Creative development includes art, dance, drama and music. It is an area in which children are encouraged to use their imaginations to the full and to express their ideas and feelings. It allows them to explore sound, materials, colours and textures using all their senses.
This area of learning includes nearly everything that young children do from riding bikes, scooters, climbing the steps of a slide, organizing the play farm, rolling out play dough, using tools and equipment. It develops their small and large motor skills, physical control, co-ordination and the ability to move in many different ways. It also involves an understanding of the way in which the body works and how to lead an active and healthy life.