All About Learning
The early years foundation stage curriculum is made up of seven areas:
- personal, social and emotional development
- physical development
- communication and language
- expressive arts and design
- understanding the world
Our timetable has a balance of all seven areas and some extras too! We have an introduction to languages, cooking, and yoga to name but a few.
Every single child is challenged at their own level. Carefully structured focus groups allow the teachers to differentiate. Literacy activities include the listening ears games – where children wear big ears and walk through the school tuning into different sounds, playing silly soup and rhyming all the words in the bowl, and reading their first book, Fat Tom.
Children start by learning all the colours and basic shapes. They then move on to sounds and numbers. We use action songs and stories to introduce them.
The children are constantly informally assessed and observed to feed into our planning. Activities initiated both by adults and by children contribute to our half-termly topics.
- Every single child is challenged at his or her own level, individual and small group work allows our teachers to differentiate all the time.
- The children are informally assessed and observed to aid our planning.
- If your child wants to learn… the sky is the limit!
- Wow! I Can Write My Name
- I Can Complete A Simple Computer Program
- I Can Make A Shape Out Of Playdough
Every child at Eaton House Belgravia nursery is given the opportunity to do 'mark making'.
Children can write their name in glitter, sand and shaving foam. They can also make letters using playdough and clay. The children are encouraged to recognise their name as soon as they start and we put a lot of emphasis on linking spoken words to writing, for example, in our weekly news books.
The nursery children talk about their weekend news and we write a sentence that they trace over. There is yellow writing to trace and a red dot to start. Children have targets to start on the red dot and grip when development allows by using a tripod pencil. Everyone is encouraged to help write labels for the displays and for the toy boxes.
Other ways to help improve writing include strengthening exercises, such as using tweezers to pick up pasta or raisins, rolling and squeezing playdough and vertical mark making on a board. This allows the correct position for the hand, wrist, and arm. Children love to cut – which helps too, and we find that the cutting card or paper plates are easier to start with.
Our interactive whiteboards are used to reinforce learning in the classroom.
Children use the board to trace over the new sound of the week, and they love to see 'rainbow writing', where each child chooses a different colour to trace one letter. It is even more exciting when we press the magic printer button and we can see our work on paper.
The interactive whiteboard is used for number work. We have many programs that facilitate every aspect of learning. For example, children can count, then drag and drop the right amount of cakes into teddy's tummy.
We also have child-led programs where children can put the correct shape in the sorting bucket and check the answer at the end. Children take photographs on the nursery camera and enjoy looking at them on the interactive whiteboard and then printing them out for our class display.
Holding the interactive whiteboard pen helps with fine motor skills and taking turns helps improve sharing skills.
Children love to explore and, oftentimes, the messier the better!
Playdough allows children to gain strength and dexterity in their hands while being creative at the same time. We have a supply of playdough with different colours and we add scents and glitter to make it even more interesting.
Very often children are involved in making playdough themselves. This is a fantastic cross-curricular activity, measuring the ingredients and mixing them together. The maths in weighing and measuring is a wonderful opportunity for new vocabulary to be explored. Is there more or less? Is it heavy or light? What does it feel like? Our children love taking the playdough home to share it with their family.
Along with playdough, we have paint, clay, stickers, glue, tissue paper, card, cellophane and glitter to name but a few. The nursery children can lead creative projects and truly make their mark on our art wall.