During the first year at Pinchbeck East, the teachers follow the statutory framework for the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) as laid down by the government. Throughout the year, pupil progress is monitored with reference to the Foundation Stage Profile. It is based on ongoing observation and assessment in the 3 prime and 4 specific areas of learning.
There are seven areas of learning and development that must shape educational programmes in early years settings. All areas of learning and development are important and inter-connected. Three areas are particularly crucial for igniting children’s curiosity and enthusiasm for learning, and for building their capacity to learn, form relationships and thrive. These three areas, then prime areas are:
Providers must also support children in four specificareas, through which the three prime areas are strengthened and applied. The specific areas are:
Educational programmes must involve activities and experiences for children as follows:
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.
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.
Personal, social and emotional development involves helping children to develop a positive sense of themselves, and others; to form positive relationships; to develop social skills and learn to manage their feelings; to understand appropriate behaviour in groups; and to have confidence in their own abilities.
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.
Characteristics of Effective Teaching and Learning
In planning and guiding children’s activities, practitioners must reflect on the different ways that children learn and reflect these in their practice. Three characteristics of teaching and learning are:
Playing and exploring – children investigate and experience things, and ‘have a go’;
Active learning – children concentrate and keep on trying if they encounter difficulties, and enjoy achievements; and
Creating and thinking critically – children have and develop their own ideas, make links between ideas, and develop strategies for doing things.
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