Foundation Stage Curriculum
Learning and Development
In Reception we help develop a lifelong love of learning and we introduce the children to a wide range of interesting (often challenging) experiences. Our planning is based on seasonal activities and children’s interests. Our planning is flexible to allow the children to take advantage of unexpected learning opportunities.
Our curriculum is based on seven areas of learning as outlined in the Early Years framework.
The Prime Areas
- Personal, Social and Emotional Development
- Communication and Language
- Physical Development
We recognise that children should have a good level of development in these Prime Areas before developing the Specific Areas of
- Understanding the World
- Expressive Arts and Design
What children learn is significant, but how children learn is vital in ensuring they have the life skills to progress through their education. The characteristics of effective learning are:
- PLAYING AND EXPLORING – Engagement
Finding out, investigating and exploring
Playing with what they know
Being willing to ‘have a go’
- ACTIVE LEARNING – Motivation
Being involved and concentrating
Being able to keep trying when things are difficult
Enjoying achieving what they set out to do
- CREATING AND CRITICALLY THINKING - Thinking
Having and developing their own ideas
Making links between ideas
Developing and choosing strategies for doing things
We aim to deliver a varied curriculum which meets the needs of the whole child. Reception teachers plan an overview of each term, which shows when special activities and events will take place. Weekly plans show suggested activities and the skills and knowledge that will be taught. Phonic work follows the 'Little Wandle - Letters and Sounds Revised' scheme and separate plans for Maths (which follow the 'White Rose' scheme) are introduced when appropriate. Teaching may be whole class, groups or on an individual basis.
We recognise the importance of play in the early years. Children are experiencing and learning in the here and now and it is in the moments of curiosity or challenge - ‘the teachable moments’- that a skilful adult makes a difference. With this thought in mind, we aim to have a mix of child initiated and teacher directed activities based on observations of children’s interests and aptitudes.
“By using this cycle on a moment-by-moment basis, the adult will be always alert to individual children (observation), always thinking about what it tells us about the child’s thinking (assessment), and always ready to respond by using appropriate strategies at the right moment to support children’s well-being and learning (planning for the next moment).” (DfCSF, QCDA, Learning, Playing and Interacting: Good Practice in the Early Years Foundation Stage, (2009) Page 24).
We recognise that the learning environment plays a key role in supporting and extending children’s development. We aim for children to have access to outdoor space, as well as indoor space, and we regularly review our continuous provision (which encourages children to select activities independently and provides open-ended opportunities for children to develop activities in their own way). These activities may be enhanced by members of the Reception team, as appropriate, to develop children’s learning.