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Where children discover learning through play

Children's development and learning

Children start to learn about the world around them from the moment they are born. The care and education implemented at our setting helps children to continue to do this by providing all of the children with activities that are planned related to their own interests as well as being appropriate for their age and stage of development.  

Early Explorers follows the Early Years Foundation Stage Curriculum, revised in September 2021. It consists of seven areas of learning: three prime areas and four specific areas.

Prime Area - Personal, Social and Emotional Development-

Within a nurturing environment, children are individually supported to develop confidence, independence and a desire to explore. Children learn to value and respect themselves and others.

Prime Area - Communication and Language

Throughout the setting children are encouraged to use language for communicating and thinking, whilst involvement in small group sessions focuses on attention, understanding and developing their vocabulary and fluency. Children can listen and join in with stories, rhymes, sing songs or explore rhythm and sound. A cosy book corner gives every child the opportunity to become familiar with books. Each half-term we choose two focus books, sharing these regularly and undertaking related activities, eg designing characters or making resources to aid the retelling.

Prime Area - Physical Development

A range of equipment and opportunities, both inside and outside, allows children to develop confidence and enjoyment of their own physical skills. A very high level of adult supervision enables children to safely create and meet physical challenges, developing skill and control in moving, climbing and balancing. Children are supported in the development of the gross and fine motor skills needed to use tools, including pens and pencils, and to handle small objects with increasing control and precision.

Specific Area - Mathematics

Through adult-supported play children become familiar with sorting, matching, ordering, and counting activities all of 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 mathematical vocabulary, within the concepts of shape, position, size, volume and number. (e.g. weighing ingredients to make porridge for the three bears or counting out the plates we need for lunch) Children will also have daily opportunities to engage with songs, games and books to aid awareness of number sequences and early addition and subtraction problems.

Specific Area - Understanding the World

Children will be encouraged to explore features of objects and substances, using all of their senses. Children are assisted in exploring and understanding their environment, both within the group and the wider community. They will develop an understanding of the cultures and beliefs of others and learn that people speak different languages. Children will begin to program a simple toy, record activities using cameras, videos and microphones.

Specific Area - Expressive Arts and Design

Children are encouraged to use a wide range of resources to express their own ideas and feelings, and develop their imaginations. A permanent creative area allows children to design and make models/pictures as well as explore textures and a wide variety of materials. 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.

Specific Area - Literacy

We support children’s natural curiosity of written language and reading through our literacy friendly environments. We use written words and signs to support our learning environment, We follow a ‘Write Dance’ movement program which combines music, movement and materials to develop gross motor skills, for example, making circles or squiggles in shaving foam. Opportunities for mark making are available throughout the setting, both inside and out. Older children are encouraged to participate in ‘Letters and Sounds’ activities, focusing on rhyming games, exploring sounds in words and the environment.