In Early Years at Linwood School we follow the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) curriculum.
This is an excellent planning and assessment tool for meeting the needs of our youngest children. All areas have equal weighting and are as important as each other.
It allows us to have fun with the children, enjoy spontaneity and follow the individual children’s interests and specific needs. We are able to work closely with families, through regular Stay and Play sessions, home/school link books, parent meetings and through our online assessment tool Tapestry which the parents can access from home.
Many of the children follow Speech and Language, physio and O.T. sensory programmes which all tie in nicely into the curriculum.
As Early Years Practitioners we look at what we are teaching the children and how they learn. We use a topic based approach which allows us to follow the children’s interests and this changes termly. This year for example the topics we covered have been Marvellous Me and Much More, Let’s Pretend and Old McDonald.
The Early Years Curriculum is made up of three prime areas where it is deemed that children need to master the skills from these areas in order to tackle the next more specific areas of learning. These areas are as follows;
Personal, social and emotional development
- Making relationships
- Self-confidence and self-awareness
- Managing feelings and behaviour
Communication and language
- Listening and attention
- Moving and handling
- Health and self-care
There are four specific areas which enable the child to use their knowledge from the prime areas to practice and explore new skills built in an environment which is set up and suited to their needs.
- Shape and space
Understanding the world
- People and communities
- The world
Expressive arts and design
- Exploring and using media and materials
- Being imaginative
The Characteristics of Effective Learning
The characteristics of effective learning and the prime and specific areas of learning are all interconnected.
The characteristics describe how a child learns.
It’s about the route the child takes in their learning and is less about the end product.
When children are left to explore a stimulating environment on their own, they will learn through exploration.
Playing and exploring
- Finding out and exploring
- Playing with what they know
- Being willing to ‘have a go’
- Being involved and concentrating
- Keeping trying
- Enjoying achieving what they set out to do
Creating and thinking critically
- Having their own ideas
- Making links
- Choosing ways to do things
Children in the Early Years at Linwood School are able to succeed in all areas of the curriculum. It is important that they have fun and enjoy learning in a variety of different ways following a broad and balanced curriculum that is entirely catered for their own individual needs.