CURRICULUM & EDUCATION
The early years of a child's education - under the age of 5 - are now collectively called the Foundation Stage, with the curriculum divided into 6 areas of learning:
Personal, Social and Emotional Development
The children are encouraged to become independent. They need to be able to manage their own coats and art overalls, to dress themselves after swimming, to blow their noses and use the bathroom without assistance. They learn to take turns, share and help tidy up, as well as develop awareness of other people’s needs. Self-esteem is built up through Circle Time and by the caring environment in general. Good manners are encouraged at all times, both in class and in the school as a whole.
This covers all forms of art and craftwork for which a huge range of materials and media are explored. It also encompasses role-play, drama, dance and music, all of which are important elements in the Foundation Stage curriculum.
Language, Literacy & Communication
The development of listening and speaking skills is of primary importance to young children and a wide range of games and activities are offered to encourage this. Phonic sounds are learned, whilst a range of reading resources encourage early reading skills.
This can be divided into activities which encourage gross motor skills and those which are aimed at fine motor skills. For the former, the Early Years children are able to use their own dedicated play ground, the Nursery garden and the main play area are all available to them.
There will also be swimming, dance and PE lessons. Fine motor skills are developed through activities incorporating construction toys, play dough, scissors, bead threading, pencil and paper.
Knowledge & Understanding of the World
This area of development covers History, Geography, Science and Religious Education and is mainly taught through topic work. Each topic chosen is cross-curricular and gives opportunities for children to share their own knowledge, learn new things and widen their horizons. In addition the curriculum covers the weather, the seasons and traditional festivals. Special festivals and celebrations are shared so that the children can learn about each other’s family values and faith.
Practical activities based on number, measures, shape and space form the basis of the children’s mathematical development. Cookery, sand, water, play dough, counting rhymes and many other every day activities teach the children mathematical concepts and vocabulary.