In recent years more importance has been placed on the quality and content of provision for Pre-School children. To be eligible for funding, Pre-Schools must pass OFSTED Inspections. OFSTED has provided guidelines that divide the curriculum into three prime areas of fundamental learning:
1) Personal, Social and Emotional Development
We hope that by the time children leave us to go to school they will be able to form relationships with adults and children. That they will be able to work as a part of a group and take turns. That they can express their opinions, solve problems and seek help when needed.
This area also involves encouraging independence in dressing and personal hygiene.
2) Communication, Language
Children’s first verbal and non-verbal communication skills are learnt at home. Pre-School aims to build on these so that children can express themselves, listen attentively and respond appropriately.
3) Physical Development
Each activity provides an opportunity for the development of physical skills, co-ordination and body awareness. Table top toys, puzzles, drawing and cutting develop fine motor skills; whereas the climbing-frame, bikes, the slide, hoops and activities such as ‘music and movement’ develop gross motor skills.
In addition to these there are 4 specific areas of essential skills and knowledge:
Through a variety of activities, children learn that words and pictures carry meaning and begin to associate sounds with symbols. We work towards children learning and writing letters of the alphabet, recognising and writing their name and perhaps reading other relevant words such as ‘mum’ and ‘dad.’
We develop the use of mathematical language such as ‘circle,’ ‘in front of,’ ‘bigger than’ and ‘more’ in everyday speech and teach the skills of comparing, sorting, matching, ordering and sequencing. We aim for recognition of numbers 1 to 10 and familiarity with larger numbers. Number rhymes, songs, stories and counting games are vital to the development of maths skills.
3) Understanding of the World
Children are encouraged to develop a knowledge and understanding of their environment; to use their senses to make observations and use technology to support their learning. We particularly try to teach an understanding and respect of other cultures.
4) Expressive Arts and Design
Children have plenty of opportunity for imaginative and creative play through art, ‘music and movement’ and role-play games. Creative development involves the exploration of sound, texture, colour, shape and space with children responding in a variety of ways to understand what they see, hear, smell, touch and feel.
It must be stressed that the most important element to any child’s development is PLAY. All children learn at different rates so work is structured to meet each individual’s needs.
OFSTED have produced a guide for parents which you can download here: EYFS_Parents_Guide or alternatively please speak to a member of staff if you have any queries and we will be happy to answer your questions.