As an early years provision who provide care and education to 3 and 4 year olds, we offer a daily curriculum activity which is guided by a document called the Early Years Foundation Stage. (‘EYFS’)
The EYFS is made up of 7 areas of learning and development and all areas are inter connected to one and other. The three prime learning areas are Communication and Language (‘CL’), Personal, Social and Emotional Development (‘PSED’), Physical Development (‘PD’). There is also four additional learning areas consisting of Expressive Arts and Design (‘EAD’), Literacy (‘L’), Mathematics (‘M’) and Understanding the World (‘UW’). Our curriculum activities reflect either one main or additional areas of learning per week. These learning areas are rotated within our planning as we believe that all areas of learning are of equal importance. All learning outcomes within the EYFS are measured against different age and ability levels and therefore when a child starts at Kingsley, we will use the document to ascertain where we believe each child is developmentally at within their learning.
The curriculum activities are carried out twice daily (once in the morning and once in the afternoon). No child is ever pressured into doing an activity and staff will often adapt and change activities when necessary to meet the needs of the children in on that day. Children are expected and encouraged to lead their own learning during the activities by using a variety of different resources in order to develop their critical thinking. Adult support is continuously available in our setting to provide positive praise and encouragement in order for them to achieve their own challenges.
Each curriculum activity is based loosely around a theme of the week with one main learning outcome. This outcome might vary depending on the children we have in our care because we understand and respect that children develop in individual ways and at varying rates.
The curriculum plans are derived from monthly planning meetings between staff and each child’s key person. We believe that a child’s play reflects their wide range and varied interests and that during their own play, they will learn at their highest level. Therefore, all plans are designed to reflect each child’s individual interests which are established from a variety of observations during free play. Whilst we plan closely to the interests of the child, we also believe it is important to ensure that children have the opportunity to develop to their full potential and therefore endeavour to provide experiences that will be challenging but achievable.
Each child’s observations are kept in an individual file which is maintained by that child’s key person, other staff and the child’s parents. The files are reviewed regularly so that we can support and celebrate each child’s individual interests and so that they will be up to date for our planning meetings. An up to date file ensures that we can respect each child’s varying profile and ability.
We encourage parents to work in partnership with us to develop their child’s curriculum file. This is because we support the statement that ‘parents are children’s first and most enduring educators’; therefore we hold the belief that when parents and staff work together, the results will have a positive impact on each child’s learning and development. A daily diary is also transferred between the setting and home so that all adults working with that child will have ample opportunity to input into each child’s development.
The files are also discussed between the parents of a child and that child’s key person during termly parent consultations. The key person will explain the child’s progress with us but will actively encourage the parents to input towards their child’s learning in order for us to gain a broader knowledge of that child when they are in their home environment.
In addition to planning to each child’s individual interests, we also encourage the children to value the diversity of all individuals and therefore we always aim to celebrate a variety of different festivals, cultures and beliefs throughout the year.
A weekly planning sheet is created to ensure that we provide a rich, stimulating and varied environment that can support each child’s individual learning and development. This sheet is used to record activities that children have spontaneously got out, planned activities and activities that can develop basic life skills (For example, cutting with scissors). Children are encouraged to input their own ideas as to which activities they would like to do each day. This is to ensure that each child has the confidence to explore and learn in secure and safe, yet challenging, indoor and outdoor environments.
If you would like more information about the EYFS please visit our links page and click on the EYFS link.