At Bridgewater, we adhere to the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) curriculum. However, children are recognised and valued as individuals and, as such, activities are tailored to the needs of each child within each area of learning.
Children learn and develop through opportunities to interact in positive relationships and enabling environments. There are certain characteristics of effective learning which help a child to grow and acquire knowledge. Playing and exploring, being involved and concentrating and thinking critically, are all essential requirements to support children’s learning across all areas. There are particular areas that are crucial for igniting children’s curiosity and enthusiasm for learning and for building their capacity to learn, form relationships and thrive.
These three areas are called Prime Areas.
1. Communication and Language
This area is divided into three areas for assessment. These are ‘Listening and Attention’, ‘Understanding’ and ‘Speaking’.
Children learn to sit quietly and listen carefully when required to do so. We encourage children to become more confident when speaking and listening through engagement in a vast range of activities. Taking turns in conversation at all levels is encouraged. Staff support children to speak properly, use the correct tense and ensure that they understand and follow instructions.
2. Physical Development
This area encompasses ‘Moving and Handling’ and ‘Health and Self-Care’. Children begin to show good control and co-ordination in large and small movements, confidently handling tools and equipment. Children learn about the importance of good health, physical exercise and good personal hygiene. We use the local woods for climbing and exploring and the children have weekly gymnastics sessions taught by qualified coaches.
3. Personal, Social and Emotional Development
In this area children are assessed on their ‘Self-Confidence and Self-Awareness’ as they try new experiences and cope with changes in their routine. ‘Managing Feelings and Behaviour’ means that children learn about acceptable codes of behaviour and how to work as a class and stay motivated as an individual. They learn to vocalise within the group and understand that their opinions are important and valued. ‘Making Relationships’ means that children have the opportunity to play cooperatively, take turns and share. Positive relationships are formed.
There four specific areas:
Literacy: ‘Reading’ and ‘Writing’ are the core areas within this area of learning. Children learn the alphabet phonetically and are given opportunities to develop early writing skills leading to emergent writing and beyond.
Mathematics: ‘Numbers’ and ‘Shape, Space and Measures’ are the areas within this subject. Children learn to solve mathematical problems through exploration and involvement in a wide range of practical maths activities.
Understanding the World: is divided into ‘People and Communities’, ‘The World’ and ‘Technology’. Children bring their own experiences and knowledge to the setting. These experiences are discussed, built upon and extended through activities in the classroom using ICT, reference books and other resources that are available.
Expressive Arts and Design: ‘Exploring and Using Media and Materials’ and ‘Being Imaginative’ make up the assessment criteria for this area of learning. Children are encouraged to be creative, without inhibitions and develop inbuilt skills that will support them throughout their lives.
All these Areas of Learning and Development are very important and inter-connected.