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Child Development and Learning
The provision for child development and learning is guided by the Early Years Foundation Stage Framework, issued by the Departments for Education and Skills. The foundation stage is a framework for children from birth to five years. This curriculum is set out in a document published by the qualifications and curriculum authority and the Departments for Education and Skills, called curriculum guidance for the foundation stage.
Our setting uses the stepping stones leading to the Early Learning Goals and provides a range of play activities which help children to progress in each area of learning. Play helps young children to learn and develop through doing and talking, which research shows to be the means by which children think. In some of these activities children decide how they will use the activity and in others an adult takes lead helping the children to take part in the activity.
There are 7 areas of learning that must shape educational programmes in Early Years settings. These areas are particularly crucial for igniting children's curiosity, enthusiasm for learning and for building their capacity to learn, form relationships and blossom.
The Prime Areas
- 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.
- 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 -Provides opportunities to be active and interactive, to develop their coordination, control and movement. Children are helped to understand the importance of physical activity and to make healthy choices in relation to food.
We also support children in four specific areas, through which the prime areas are strengthened and applied.
The Specific Areas
- Literacy: Involves encouraging children to link letters and sounds and begin to read and write. Children are given access to a wide range of reading materials to help ignite their interest.
- Mathematics: Provides 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 measure.
- Understanding the World: Guides 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: Enable 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, feelings through a variety of activities in art, music, dance, role play and design and technology.
For each area, the guidance sets out Early Learning Goals. These goals state what is expected that children will know and be able to do by the end of reception year.