Our Curriculum

The early years are critical in a child’s development. They develop very rapidly during this time - physically, intellectually, emotionally and socially. Over recent years the Government has come to recognise the importance of a good start to our children’s education, and consequently developed “The Foundation Stage”. This has subsequently been replaced by The Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS).  This applies to children from Birth to the age of five years, in other words until the end of the Reception year at school.  They will then follow the National Curriculum. The curriculum for the foundation stage is based around the following three prime and four specific areas of learning.

www.4Children.org

A Unique Child

Babies and children develop in individual ways and at varying rates.  Every area of development – physical, cognitive, linguistic, spiritual, social and emotional, is equally important.  We treat each child as an individual and plan around their individual needs.

“We do not build our children, we let them grow”

An Introduction to the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS)
How we deliver the EYFS
A Parents Guide to the EYFS
The Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS)

The Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) sets out welfare and developmental goals for children from birth to five years of age.  All early years providers must meet the standards set out in this curriculum to ensure that children learn and develop well and are kept safe and healthy.

There are seven areas of learning and development within the EYFS Framework.  All areas of learning are important and inter-connected.  These areas are particularly crucial for sparking children’s curiosity and enthusiasm for learning, for building their capacity to learn, form relationships and thrive.

Children should mostly develop the 3 prime areas first. These prime areas are those most essential for your child’s healthy development and future learning.

These are:
Communication and language;
Physical development; and
Personal, social and emotional development.

As children grow, the prime areas will help them to develop skills in four specific areas. These are:
Literacy;
Mathematics;
Understanding the world; and
Expressive arts and design.

Children in the EYFS learn by playing and exploring, being active and through creative and critical thinking which at this nursery takes place both indoors and outdoors.

Our members of staff will teach and support your child by making sure all the activities are suited to every individual child’s unique needs.

All children are supported in developing their potential at their own pace. The curriculum is designed to recognise each small step towards an ultimate goal or skill. These goals are known as the 'The Early Learning Goals' and, along with their appropriate 'age groupings' are dictated by the Department for Education and Employment (DfEE). Each OFSTED registered group, including us, must demonstrate the ability to provide opportunities, which encourage children to progress toward these goals. Ultimately we will endeavour to provide each child with firm foundations upon which their future education will gradually build and stand firm.

Communication and Language

The EYFS States that: 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.

Armathwaite Nursery Group States that: In both small and large groups, we encourage children to extend their vocabulary and fluency by talking and listening and by hearing and responding to stories, songs and rhymes. Children are supported to use their voice by the provision of a language rich environment which is supported by experienced staff who have a good understanding of each child’s stage of language development.

Physical Development

The EYFS States that: 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.

Armathwaite Nursery Group States that: - We offer a range of equipment and opportunities, both indoors and out of doors, allowing children to develop confidence and enjoyment in the use of development of their own bodily skills. A very high level of adult supervision enables children safely to create and meet physical challenges, developing increasing skill and control in moving, climbing and balancing. At the same time, children are supported in the development of the fine motor skills required to use tools, including pens and pencils, and to handle small objects increasing control and precision.

Personal, Social & Emotional Development

The EYFS States that: - 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.

Armathwaite Nursery Group States that: -Within our nurturing environment, children are individually supported in developing confidence, autonomy and self-respect. They are encouraged to work and concentrate independently and also to take part in the life of the group, sharing and co-operating with other children and adults. Through activities, conversation and practical example, they learn acceptable ways to express their own feelings and to have respect for the feelings of others. All children are given the opportunity, as appropriate, to take responsibility for themselves and to show respect and caring for other members of the group, and property.

As children grow, the prime areas will help them to develop skills in four specific areas. These are:
Literacy;
Mathematics;
Understanding the world; and
Expressive arts and design.

Literacy

The EYFS States that: Literacy development involves encouraging children to link sounds and letters and to begin to read and write.  Children will be given access to a wide range of reading materials i.e. books, poems and other written materials to ignite their interest.

Armathwaite Nursery Group States that: - We have particular points in our routine where children are encouraged to explore early phonics, sounds and actions, i.e. Letter of the Week. Children are provided with the opportunity to explore various mark making resources and are supported to develop and refine their gross and fine motor skills, i.e. white boards, chalk board, paints & pencils. Children are helped to understand that written symbols carry meaning, to be aware of the purposes of writing when they read, and to use drawn and written symbols for themselves. A well-stocked book corner gives every child the opportunity and encouragement to become familiar with books, able to handle them and aware of their uses, both for reference and as a source of stories and pictures.

Mathematics

The EYFS States that: Mathematics involves providing children with opportunities to develop and improve their skills in counting, understand and using numbers, calculating simple addition and subtraction problems and to describe shapes, spaces and measures.

Armathwaite Nursery Group States that: - By means of adult-supported practical experience, children become familiar with the sorting, matching, ordering, sequencing and counting activities, which form the basis for early mathematics. As they use their developing mathematical understanding to solve practical problems, children are assisted to learn and use the vocabulary of mathematics, identifying objects by shape, position, size, volume and number. Songs, games and picture books help children become aware of number sequences and, when they are ready, to use simple mathematical operations such as adding.

Understanding the World

The EYFS States that: 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.

Armathwaite Nursery Group States that: - A safe and stimulating environment like ours, allows children to explore and experiment with a range of natural and manufactured materials. They learn to observe the features of objects and substances, recognising differences, pattern and similarities, and to share and record their findings. Children are assisted in exploring and understanding their environment, both within the group and also in the wider community. A range of safe and well-maintained equipment enables children to extend their technological understanding, using simple tools and techniques as appropriate.

Expressive Arts and Design

The EYFS States that: 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 thoughts, ideas and feelings through a wide variety of activities in art, music, movement, dance, role-play and design and technology.

Armathwaite Nursery Group States that: - At this nursery, children are encouraged to use a wide range of resources in order to express their own ideas and feelings and to construct their individual response to experience in two and three dimensions. Art equipment, including paint, glue, crayons and pencils as well as natural and discarded resources, provides for open-ended exploration of colour, shape and texture and the development of skills in painting, drawing and collage. Children join in with and respond to music and stories, and there are many opportunities for imaginative role-play, both individually and as part of a group.

Children in the EYFS learn by playing and exploring, being active, and through creative and critical thinking which takes place both indoors and outdoors.

Our members of staff will teach and support your child by making sure all the activities are suited to every individual child’s unique needs.

Early learning goals

Within the group, all children are supported in developing their potential at their own pace. The curriculum is designed to recognise each small step towards an ultimate goal or skill. These goals are known as the “The Early Learning Goals” and, along with their appropriate “age groupings” are dictated by the Department for Education and Employment (DfEE). Each OFSTED registered group, including us, must demonstrate the ability to provide opportunities, which encourage children to progress toward these goals. Ultimately we will endeavour to provide each child with firm foundations upon which their future education will gradually build and stand firm.

Spencer Bear

Spencer is a small bear who visits each child for a week at a time.  Spencer has his own diary to record everything he does with each individual child.  We would be grateful if you could encourage your child to take care of Spencer and include him in activities at home, visiting friends and trips.  Please feel free to read some of the entries in Spencer’s diary to your child and make an entry about their adventures whilst visiting your home.  A photograph would be very helpful so we can make a storybook for our nursery.

This activity is particularly helpful in promoting children’s learning in the following areas:
Personal, Social and Emotional Development.
Communication and Language
Literacy.

Children’s Big Book Learning Journey

As a child starts Armathwaite Nursery, we compile a ‘Big Book’.  This book will be an ongoing record of their achievements in all areas of learning and will contain examples and photographs of work and observations by Nursery staff.

Staff will use the information collected in ‘big books’ as a means of assessing, monitoring and addressing each child’s individual learning needs.  Our aim is that they will show learning in all areas:
Communication & language
Physical development
Personal, social and emotional development
Literacy
Mathematics
Understanding the world
Expressive arts & design

Children learn in many different situations and places and much of their learning takes place at home.  Please use the ‘Big Book Learning Journey’ to record significant home learning experiences and ‘landmark’ achievements.  This will mean that we can combine information to give a more complete picture of your child’s learning and will enable staff to share achievements.

The ‘big books’ will be kept in the Nursery room and you are welcome to look through them at any time – your children will probably be only too happy to share theirs with you. The Nursery staff will regularly spend time looking at, and talking about, children’s own ‘big books’ with them and are happy to discuss these records with you.  The books will also leave Nursery with your child as a souvenir of their time with us.  Hopefully, they will also provide an invaluable insight into your child’s personality and development to their new teacher as they move into their next stage of learning!