Areas of Learning
There are 3 prime and 4 specific areas of learning:
· Communication and Language
· Physical Development
· Personal, Social and Emotional
· Understanding the World
· Expressive Art and Design
Below is a summary on each of these areas and some of the activities that the children will be focussing on. We hope this will give you a better idea of how the things we do at nursery are linked to the Early Years Learning Goals, set out by Government. We do hope you find this of interest. If you have any questions please do not hesitate to ask your child's key person.
CL = Communication and language
This is a prime area of learning and development in the EYFS framework and 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.
Communication and language has three aspects – Listening and attention, understanding and speaking
Listening and attention skills are being developed as children listen to lots of exciting and interesting stories at story time or in the library area. Listening skills are also developed during various activities such as at register time, during SALLEY sessions, when playing games in a small group or during cooking sessions in order to follow the instructions.
Children’s understanding will be developed through a range of activities. They will be exploring our sensory garden, finding out what plants are there and how to take care of them. During Crescendo Kids, band sessions, craft activities, cooking and many other planned activities they will be following instructions involving ideas or actions. During activities, such as sand and water play, we will ask children “how” and “why” things happen.
Children’s speaking skills will be developed through opportunities to speak one to one, such as with their key person discussing what they are making or playing. Also speaking in small groups, during snack time, during cooking sessions, during SALLEY sessions and socially during lunch club or when playing with their friends. Also in larger groups such as at register time when telling their news or during “Show and Tell”.
PD – Physical Development
Physical Development is one of the three prime areas of learning. It provides the opportunity for children to be active and interactive; and to develop their co-ordination, control, and movement. Children are also helped to understand the importance of physical activity, and to make healthy choices in relation to food.
Physical development is divided in to two main areas; moving and handling; and health and self-care.
Moving and handling involves children showing good control and co-ordination in large and small movements. They learn how to move confidently in a range of ways, safely negotiating space. They also learn how to handle equipment and tools effectively, including pencils for writing.
Children will have plenty of opportunity to play outside using a variety of equipment such as bicycles, scooters, the climbing frame and the caterpillar to increase leg strength and improve their confidence when negotiating space safely. Inside the children can use scissors, pegs, duplo and lacing to improve hand eye coordination and strength their grip.
Health and self-care teaches children the importance of good health through physical exercise and a balanced diet. It covers the ways in which we keep healthy and safe. Children understand how to manage their own basic hygiene and personal needs successfully, including dressing and going to the toilet independently.
We discuss healthy food choices during snack time, giving the children the chance to select their snack from a selection on offer.
Physical development is part of everyday life, encouraging your children to be independent when dressing, using the toilet and washing their hands all helps to reinforce what we do at nursery. Running, climbing, swimming and other large motor skills help to promote strength and dexterity. Colouring, playing with lego, cutting and other small motor skills help to develop the muscles needed for writing.
PSE - Personal, Social and Emotional Development
PSE is a prime area of learning and 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.
It is split into three areas; Self-confidence and Self Awareness; Managing Feelings and Behaviour and Making Relationships.
Self-confidence and self awareness aims to promote confidence in children when trying new things, speaking in front of a familiar group, choosing toys and verbalising when they do and don’t need help.
Managing feelings and behaviour aims to develop children’s ability to talk about theirs and others feelings. It helps children to understand their and others behaviour, why there are consequences and the difference between acceptable and unacceptable behaviour.
Making relationships addresses the concepts of taking turns, playing cooperatively and listening and taking onto account one another’s ideas.
Children are encourage to develop these skills during general play and through more focussed activities such as playing games, working together to complete a task and sharing news.
L = Literacy
This is a specific area of learning and development in the EYFS framework and involves encouraging children to link sounds and letters and to begin to read and write. Children have access to a wide range of reading materials such as books, poems and other written materials which are very important in order to ignite their interest in reading and writing.
Literacy has two aspects – Reading and writing
We encourage reading and a love of books through our improved library area and its colourful new alphabet carpet. The children can play with the alphabet feely bags, containing objects having the initial letter of a particular letter of the alphabet. Also through SALLEY sessions children in the older year group are developing their early reading skills.
Children do lots of “mark making” to improve their early writing skills. They use water with paintbrushes, chalk, felt tips, crayons, paints, pens and pencils both inside and outside.
M - Mathematics
Mathematics is one of the 4 specific areas of learning which focuses on number, space, shape and measure. In number children are developing skills and progressing their learning towards the goals of counting, placing numbers in order and understanding which number is one more or one less than a given number. Children are learning to solve number problems as well and using quantities and objects to add and subtract single digit numbers.
To support this learning, planned activities will include number walks, using numbers in play and everyday life, number songs and rhymes, books and stories as well as counting activities with resources such as bricks, compare bears and play dough. Sometimes we hide numbers in sawdust/sand and when the children find the number, they are encouraged to find the corresponding number of items also hidden in the sand.
To progress the children's skills with shape, space and measure, we will be going on a shape walk around the village and the local woods observing shapes in the environment and making shapes with sticks the children have found. We will be playing with water and sand to develop understanding of quantity and weight. Children pour water with jugs and bottles filling containers and funnels.
Children have access to rulers and tape measures which they use when building and playing to compare lengths.
The children are working towards the goals of using mathematical language in everyday situations such as talking about size, weight, capacity, position, distance, time and money.
Children will recognise and create patterns, which can be achieved by threading beads or painting patterns on sticks. Patterns can be made with any number of items including bricks, cars, and animals. Children will develop their skills in exploring everyday objects and shapes using mathematical language to describe them.
This area of learning is in the world all around us and you can support your child’s learning by observing numbers in shops, on cars, in books or on the television. Shapes can also be discovered and explored all around us in food, plants and books. Space and measure can be explored with jugs, buckets and funnels in the bath, sandpit and paddling pool.
UTW – Understanding The World
This is a specific area in the EYFS framework and 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.
UTW has three aspects – People & Communities, World and Technology.
The children are always learning about The World around them, they plant seeds, watch them grow and harvest them and our regular visits to the woods give the children lots of opportunity to explore and find out more about the animals and plants that live there.
Technology is all around us and the children develop a range of skills including problem solving and mouse skills through the programs we have on the computers. They also have the opportunity to use a range of technological equipment including cameras, torches and radios and other electronic toys which encourages their technological development.
To develop People and Communities, the children are encouraged to talk about their own home and lives and to share their experiences, such as holidays, celebrations and special events. Through visits from members of the community, including the firefighters and the police, and by visiting the local shop and walking around the village, the children can find out about the community they live in.
EAD- Expressive Art and Design
This is a specific area of learning in the EYFS framework and involves supporting children to explore and play with a wide range of media and materials as well as providing the opportunity to share their thoughts, ideas and feelings through a variety of activities in art, music, movement, dance, role play and design and technology. It has two aspects 'Exploring and using media and materials' and 'Being imaginative'.
The children always have access to paint, pens, pencils, glue, scissors and a variety of different materials such as; card, tissue paper, fabric, ribbon, etc. so that they can explore their creative side.
We also have regular music sessions, with band on a Tuesday, singing on a Wednesday and Crescendo kids once a month, this is a great way for children to express themselves.
Dressing up outfits are always available to the children and their imaginative role play is always fun to watch.
The lovely thing about this area of learning is that it allows the child to lead their own exploration of materials or processes, it helps them to work as part of a group, it stimulates creative thinking skills and problem solving solutions and, most importantly it builds confidence and self esteem. It is vital to be aware that it is the process rather than the product or finished article that is important , so when we send something home that leaves you wondering what on earth we having been teaching your child, please remember that for a young child selecting a picture from a magazine then honing their scissor skills to cut around it ( or through it!) and then deciding where to position it on the paper before gluing it in place is a very important task from which they are developing essential skills that will prepare them for the next stage of their lives.
Characteristics Of Effective Learning
The ways in which a child engages with other people and their environment through playing and exploring; active learning and creating and thinking critically underpins the learning and development across all areas of the curriculum and supports the child to become an effective and motivated learner. We use these characteristics to observe a child's progress, engagement and enjoyment in an activity.
The Characteristics of Effective Learning are:
Playing and Exploring - engagement
- Finding out and exploring
- Playing with what they know
- Being willing to 'have a go'
Active Learning - motivation
- Being involved and concentrating
- Keep trying
- Enjoying achieving what they set out to do
Creating and Thinking Critically - thinking
- Having their own ideas
- Making links
- Choosing ways to do things
If you would like anymore information on the EYFS and how it supports your child's learning then please follow the link below.
Other useful sites to support your child's learning include 4children, www.4children.org.uk - which contains lots of useful information about child development and the EYFS areas of learning and Foundation Years / From pregnancy to children aged 5, www.foundationyears.org.uk - this website also contains a handy booklet 'What to expect when' which is a summary of child developmental stages. Copies can be purchased for £2.99 from the website. We also have a copy on the nursery notice board.
These sites can also help you learn more about your child's development: