Educational programmes, the ‘early years curriculum’, are the areas of learning and development which shape the activities and experiences that children have in our setting.
The Education Programs are:
C&L is comprised of listening, attention, understanding and speaking and these skills are vital to children’s progress in all other areas of learning. We have a strong focus on vocabulary acquisition and language development. We use high-quality core texts to plan and teach our literacy lessons, we read to our children throughout the day, and we engage with a wide range of texts (fiction, non-fiction, poems and nursery rhymes). We discuss texts, develop children’s comprehension skills and ability to ask and answer questions about texts. We support children to use recently learnt vocabulary and to develop their C&L skills through role-play, hot-seating and planned adult interactions. Children identified as needing additional support to develop their C&L receive such support through adult interactions, NELI etc.
PSED is comprised of self-regulation, managing self and building relationships. The development of strong, compassionate and supportive relationships with adults facilitates children’s understanding of their emotions and the emotions of others. We support children to understand their own feelings and those of others and find ways to self-regulate if needed. We use Jigsaw to teach the six main themes of EYFS PSED which include; being me in my world, celebrating differences, dreams and goals, healthy me, relationships and changing me. We support children to develop PSED attributes throughout the day by being positive role models, identifying and discussing our emotions (using Zones of Regulation) and resolving conflicts by discussion and understanding.
This area is comprised of fine motor skills and gross motor skills. This area is crucial for children’s development allowing children to lead happy, healthy and active lives both in school and at home. Children have access to a range of outdoor equipment which supports the development of good coordination, core strength, balancing and being spatially aware. Children are taught gymnastics during the spring term, where they develop their balance, strength and agility. These lessons, together with weekly PE lessons, further focus on developing children’s gross motor skills. Fine motor development helps with control and precision, and this supports children’s ability to mark-make, write, draw and to use a range of one-handed tools competently, safely and confidently.
This area is comprised of comprehension, word reading and writing. We love books at William Patten and promote this enjoyment of reading throughout the day, as we know how important reading, comprehension, word reading and writing are to children’s academic and social development both in school and beyond. Our literacy lessons are based on high quality core texts, which we read and re-read throughout the year. We read fiction, non-fiction, poetry, nursery rhymes, sing songs and create our own stories. We use Word Aware to help develop children’s vocabulary and the language that we will use during our termly topics is referred to throughout the day and shared with parents via our vocabulary mats on Google Classroom. Daily RWI lessons start during the first week of term; during these RWI lessons children are taught Set 1 sounds, to orally blend and to use this knowledge to decode regular words. They are also taught how to form the graphemes for taught sounds and to spell, using Fred Fingers to segment words. Daily handwriting lessons, using the Nelson Handwriting scheme, support children’s letter formation. Our daily literacy lessons, provide progression and challenge throughout the week. Children complete an adult-led writing task once a week. To further support children’s writing we have engaging challenges and resources available on the writing table, linked to our week’s focus book, to encourage child-led exploration of writing and mark-making.
This area is comprised of number and numerical patterns. Developing a solid grounding in number ensures children’s development mathematically in the years beyond the foundation stage. We use Power Maths, a mastery programme designed to spark curiosity and excitement and nurture confidence in maths, to teach our daily maths lessons. We are also part of the NECTM Mastering Number Programme, which provides evidence-led learning opportunities to develop children’s understanding of number. Children have daily opportunities to count and understand numbers to 10 and beyond through singing number songs and rhymes. Within our free-flow provision we ensure children have continued exposure to numbers and number patterns through a wide range of activities (building with Numicon, representing numbers to 10 using a five and a ten frame, matching small world objects to numbers, creating patterns with peg boards, sorting a range of objects into different categories, identifying odd and even numbers, finding doubles of objects). We plan and use appropriate mathematical language, using stem sentences, generalisations and appropriate definitions. We also teach and provide opportunities for children to develop their spatial reasoning skills through activities linked to shape, space and measure.
This area is comprised of past and present, people, culture and communities and the natural world. These objectives, which provide clear links to the Y1 curriculum, help children to make sense of the world around them as well as their communities. We weave opportunities to develop children’s Understanding of the World, into our half-termly topics such as learning about their families, people that help us (doctors, firefighters etc.), plants and animals, the environment and sustainability, religious and cultural events, landscapes, science week, transport now and in the past and finding out about life in other countries. These activities provide opportunities for all children to become culturally, socially, technologically and ecologically aware. We value workshops and trips to provide enrichment opportunities and to create a sense of awe and wonder for the world in which we live.
This area is comprised of creating with materials and being imaginative and expressive. We know the importance of these areas on the development of children’s imaginations and creativity. Weekly music lessons, taught by our music teacher, provide opportunities for children to be part of whole school music projects such as the Christmas Show and the Jubilee pageant as well as to learn songs and actions (Makaton) for songs linked to our half-termly topics. Within our free-flow provision, children are encouraged to explore and play with a wide range of media and materials as a form of self-expression and communication – these include making bird feeders, playdough animals, clay modelling, class murals, collages using recycled materials, fruit self-portraits based on the work by Giuseppe Arcimboldo, watercolours etc.