The Early Years Curriculum
We have a separate curriculum for the Early Years in the UK. This covers the development of our children from birth to the end of the Reception year . The children continue the same curriculum used by ourselves in Nursery to their first year in school.
Every three year old is entitled to 15 hours of free education. This starts the term after their third birthday.
In our Nursery, we offer two sessions for the children. Parents can choose whether their child attends on a morning from 8.45 am to 11.45 am or on an afternoon from 12.30pm to 3.30 pm. This gives them 3 hours of education each day over 5 days in the week- 15 hours.
Over the last few years, due to increased need, we have offered parents the option of purchasing extra education sessions at £15 per session (including lunch club which bridges the two sessions).
Early Learning Goals
There are 17 Early Learning Goals which children are expected to have achieved by the end of the Early Years (children will vary from 5 years 10 months old to 4 years 10 months old at the time assessment results are submitted)
Practitioners make a judgement as to whether the children are:
- Emerging (working below the Early Learning Goal)
- Expected (working within the Early Learning Goal)
- Exceeding (working beyond the Early Learning Goal)
Birth to Early Learning Goal
The curriculum is broken into phases of development.
- 0-11 months
- 8-20 months
- 16-26 months
- 22-36 months
- 30-50 months
- 40-60 months
The Curriculum document states what the children should be achieving at each phase across all 7 areas of Learning.
There are seven areas of learning in our curriculum.
Three are given more importance and are Prime areas of Learning.
Personal, social and emotional development involves helping children to develop a positive sense of themselves, and others; to form positive relationships and develop respect for others; to develop social skills and learn how to manage their feelings; to understand appropriate behaviour in groups; and to have confidence in their own abilities.
Personal, Social and Emotional ELGs
- Self-confidence and self-awareness: children are confident to try new activities, and say why they like some activities more than others. They are confident to speak in a familiar group, will talk about their ideas, and will choose the resources they need for their chosen activities. They say when they do or don’t need help.
- Managing feelings and behaviour: children talk about how they and others show feelings, talk about their own and others’ behaviour, and its consequences, and know that some behaviour is unacceptable. They work as part of a group or class, and understand and follow the rules. They adjust their behaviour to different situations, and take changes of routine in their stride.
- Making relationships: children play co-operatively, taking turns with others. They take account of one another’s ideas about how to organise their activity. They show sensitivity to others’ needs and feelings, and form positive relationships with adults and other children.
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.
Physical Development ELGs
- Moving and handling: children show good control and co-ordination in large and small movements. They move confidently in a range of ways, safely negotiating space. They handle equipment and tools effectively, including pencils for writing.
- Health and self-care: children know the importance for good health of physical exercise, and a healthy diet, and talk about ways to keep healthy and safe. They manage their own basic hygiene and personal needs successfully, including dressing and going to the toilet independently.
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.
Communication and Language ELGs
- Listening and attention: children listen attentively in a range of situations. They listen to stories, accurately anticipating key events and respond to what they hear with relevant comments, questions or actions. They give their attention to what others say and respond appropriately, while engaged in another activity.
- Understanding: children follow instructions involving several ideas or actions. They answer ‘how’ and ‘why’ questions about their experiences and in response to stories or events.
- Speaking: children express themselves effectively, showing awareness of listeners’ needs. They use past, present and future forms accurately when talking about events that have happened or are to happen in the future. They develop their own narratives and explanations by connecting ideas or events.
The other four areas of learning are ‘Specific’ areas through which the three prime areas are strengthened and applied.
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.
- Numbers: children count reliably with numbers from 1 to 20, place them in order and say which number is one more or one less than a given number. Using quantities and objects, they add and subtract two single-digit numbers and count on or back to find the answer. They solve problems, including doubling, halving and sharing.
- Shape, space and measures: children use everyday language to talk about size, weight, capacity, position, distance, time and money to compare quantities and objects and to solve problems. They recognise, create and describe patterns. They explore 12 characteristics of everyday objects and shapes and use mathematical language to describe them.
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.
- Reading: children read and understand simple sentences. They use phonic knowledge to decode regular words and read them aloud accurately. They also read some common irregular words. They demonstrate understanding when talking with others about what they have read.
- Writing: children use their phonic knowledge to write words in ways which match their spoken sounds. They also write some irregular common words. They write simple sentences which can be read by themselves and others. Some words are spelt correctly and others are phonetically plausible.
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.
Understanding The World ELGs
- People and communities: children talk about past and present events in their own lives and in the lives of family members. They know that other children don’t always enjoy the same things, and are sensitive to this. They know about similarities and differences between themselves and others, and among families, communities and traditions.
- The world: children know about similarities and differences in relation to places, objects, materials and living things. They talk about the features of their own immediate environment and how environments might vary from one another. They make observations of animals and plants and explain why some things occur, and talk about changes.
- Technology: children recognise that a range of technology is used in places such as homes and schools. They select and use technology for particular purposes.
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.
Expressive Arts and Design ELGs
- Exploring and using media and materials: children sing songs, make music and dance, and experiment with ways of changing them. They safely use and explore a variety of materials, tools and techniques, experimenting with colour, design, texture, form and function.
- Being imaginative: children use what they have learnt about media and materials in original ways, thinking about uses and purposes. They represent their own ideas, thoughts and feelings through design and technology, art, music, dance, role-play and stories.
Characteristics of Effective 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 effective 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.
There are four guiding principles which should shape practice in early years settings. These are:
- every child is a unique child, who is constantly learning and can be resilient, capable, confident and self-assured;
- children learn to be strong and independent through positive relationships;
- children learn and develop well in enabling environments, in which their experiences respond to their individual needs and there is a strong partnership between practitioners and parents and/or carers; and
- children develop and learn in different ways and at different rates.
The framework covers the education and care of all children in early years provision, including children with special educational needs and disabilities.
When children arrive in Nursery they are taken to their Key Group by their parents. During this session, children can tell their news and staff will tell the children what is new to look out for in the Nursery.
Staff will also have key objectives to teach.
This session lasts for approximately 20 minutes (8.45-9.05am or 12.30pm to 12.50 pm)
The children then leave their key worker groups to go and ‘play’ in the Nursery. Areas of learning are set up within the main classroom and the children access these independently. Materials are changed regularly within each area but some things are there all year round for the children to use (continuous provision).
We have 11 indoor areas:
A Role Play Area
Sand Play Area
A Creative Area
Small World Area
Dough/ Malleable Area
Water Play Area
Staff observe the children at play, taking notes of what they are doing and what their interests are.
This information is discussed at daily planning meetings and we decide how to adapt our areas to provide what the children want and need.
Staff ‘play’ alongside the children, skilfully questioning to develop thinking and to challenge their play.
After a play of about an hour, the children meet together in their group rooms for snack. This is always healthy but varies from day to day. It could be toast, cheese and crackers, fruit or something the children have baked. Children can choose between milk or water to drink.
Mrs. Wilson ensures that all children with allergies have their own individual snack on their own plate.
Group snack time is a great time for reinforcing manners, helping friends by giving out the snack and drinks, number work i.e. counting out the cups or bottles of milk etc. It is a valuable learning time.
More free play
Once snack time is over, the children can choose if they would like to play indoors or outdoors again. They take charge of their own learning by choosing an area to work in and choosing how they would like to use those resources in that area. Staff will encourage, question, challenge and support the children in doing this through skilful questioning and playing alongside the children.
At the end of each session, the children meet in their groups again for a story. This is a lovely way to end the session.
The children have to use their listening skills, show they have understood the story by answering questions and join in with repeated refrains.
Our outdoor area is our best classroom. The children are able to choose whether they would like to play indoors or outdoors, whatever the weather. Most children choose to learn outdoors.
Further information is available in our Nursery Brochure
Find out more about our approach to Reading and Phonics at Oxclose Nursery School.
From their different starting points, our children made over two full phases of progress on average (6.21).
93% of children were working on target or above in Personal, Social and Emotional Development (79% were working above expected levels)
89% of children were working on target or above in Communication and Language (68% were working above expected levels)
95% of children were working on target or above in Physical Development (75% were working above expected levels)
75% of children were working on target or above in Literacy (8% were working above the expected level)
93% of children were working on target or above in Maths (58% were working above the expected level)
96% of children were working on target or above in Understanding the World (75% were working above the expected level)
92% of children were working on target or above in Expressive Art and Design (74% were working above the expected level)
In response to what we have learnt from our analysis of the data, our curriculum targets for 2016/2017 are:
To continue to improve attainment in Communication and Language.
|To further improve attainment in Literacy, both Reading and Writing.
Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND)
At Oxclose Nursery School, we believe that inclusive education means providing all pupils with appropriate education and support alongside their peers. The Curriculum is all the planned activities that the school organises in order to promote learning, personal growth and development.