The playgroup curriculum
Our curriculum is based on planning and resourcing a challenging environment for the children, both inside and outside. We meet the requirements of the EYFS. The EYFS covers children from birth to the end of the reception class at school. This divides the curriculum into seven areas of learning.
The prime areas of learning are;
- Personal, Social and Emotional development which covers making relationships, self-confidence and self-awareness and managing feelings and behavior.
- Physical development which includes moving and handling and health and self-care.
- Communication and Language which deals with listening and attention, understanding and speaking.
The specific areas of learning are;
- Literacy covering reading and writing.
- Mathematics covering numbers and shape, space and measure.
- Understanding the world which includes looking at the world around us, technology and people and communities.
- Expressive Arts and Design which deals with the exploration of media and materials and being imaginative.
The prime areas of learning are fundamental areas of learning which work together. Children move through them to support development in all the other specific areas of learning. We believe that children develop in the context of relationships and the environment around them. This is unique to each family, and reflects individual communities and cultures. The ways in which the child engages with other people and their environment is called the ‘Characteristics of Effective Learning’. These characteristics hold that children learn by:
- Playing and exploring – finding out and exploring, playing with what they know and being willing to have a go.
- Being Active Learners – being involved and concentrating, keeping trying and enjoying achieving what they set out to do,
- Creating and Thinking Critically – having their own ideas, making links, choosing ways to do things.
Full details of these can be accessed by asking staff or by looking on the following websites;
Most of our curriculum is achieved by creating a challenging learning environment, our core provision’. This is made up of all areas of provision, inside and outside, together with the routines and organization of the day. To this continuous provision we add new resources, displays, visits and visitors, as well as planned activities that focus on the observed interests of the children as well as providing new experiences.
Progress check at age 2years
When a child is between 2 and 3 it is a requirement of the revised EYFS that we must review their progress in partnership with the parents. We must provide you with a short written summary of your child’s development in the prime areas. This must identify their strengths and any areas where the child’s progress is less than expected. We must then identify what additional support may be required to help your child progress. We will do this in partnership with parents and will only provide the check when we feel we know your child, usually between the ages of 30 and 36 months.
The learning environment.
We have a well resourced playroom where the children are free to take part in a variety of activities:
Construction toys and small world (garages, trains, toy houses, farms etc)
A well stocked book corner, with fiction, non-fiction, puppets and story sacks.
A number work table, for counting, sorting, measuring, shapes, games, jigsaws
An office/writing/drawing area, for mark making, cutting out, games, stamps and other literacy activities.
A play dough table.
A painting/gluing/model building creative area.
A home corner which can be changed to allow other imaginative play eg. hairdressers, doctors etc.
A music stand with lots of instruments, tapes and tape recorder.
A computer and printer for ICT skills.
Jigsaws, games, and other activities.
Outside we have a large playground divided into an area for bikes, a climbing frame and tunnel, an area for large construction and a large walk-in sand pit.
A second area houses two wooden playhouses, a café and a hospital (or whatever we want it to be) as well as a gravel tray and a water tray. We also have movable pipes and stands to explore moving water. A water butt provides a place for the children to fill buckets and jugs.
We also have a large shed to provide outside area ‘inside’. In here we can engage in music, dance, singing, woodwork, role-play, large scale model making etc.
We have a garden area which is an ongoing project. It includes a grassed area, scrub/shrubbed land, a bridge, willow den, logs, digging area, raised beds, playshed and a mud kitchen.
All areas together form our continuous learning environment.
How we help children learn.
The environment is presented in well defined spaces such as the construction area, the messy play area and the mark making area. Each has an appropriate range of resources selected to meet the needs and interests of the children. We hope that we have created an environment that is exciting, purposeful, challenging and supportive. The emphasis is on child initiated play as children learn most when they are interested. Our planning is designed to help the children progress towards the early learning goals of the foundation stage. However it is very important to realise that children do not make distinctions in their learning, for example in the construction area children may learn the following;
Personal, Social and Emotional – children learn to work with others, they learn to concentrate and maintain attention, they can select and use resources independently. Children learn to share and take turns and to respect the views and ideas of others. Children have clear boundaries and expectations of their behaviour in relation to both adults and their peers. They can make choices in their play and share decisions with others about the use of resources.
Communication and Language – they learn to use talk to organise, sequence and clarify thinking, ideas, feelings and events. They interact with others, both adults and peers, making plans, negotiating and taking turns in conversation. They also use language to imagine and recreate roles and experiences, by making up stories to go with their building.
Physical – children develop control and co-ordination of their bodies, learn to use tools safely and with increasing control. The addition of clipboards and a pen can encourage holding a pen and making marks.
Literacy – children can make marks, giving meaning to the marks.
Mathematical development- develop ideas and vocabulary about 2D and 3D shapes. Compare and use the language of size. Develop awareness of shape, space, measure and position. Use their ideas to solve practical problems.
Expressive arts and design – they explore a variety of materials, tools and techniques, experimenting with colour, design, texture, form and function.
Here are some examples of construction:
The long term plans of the group are available around the setting with a complete copy available from staff. They identify the following, for all areas of provision;
The learning opportunities offered by each area (the knowledge, skills, understanding and attitudes).
The resources and the organisation of these resources to support the intended learning activities.
The key experiences that children will develop when playing in these areas.
They recognise the importance of the adult role and the quality interaction needed to support and develop the children’s thinking.
If you would like further information, please ask Kate.