Early Years Curriculum and Philosophy at St Giles
At St Giles we offer a fun, creative, exciting and purposeful curriculum which prioritises children’s interests and needs. Play underpins the delivery of all the EYFS and is essential to the development and learning for young children.
The early year’s education offered is based on the following principles:
- To make the child’s first experience of school happy and enjoyable.
- To provide a stimulating and rich environment and experiences which are well planned and organised.
- To provide provision for children which develops them physically, intellectually, emotionally and socially.
- To ensure that all children feel included, secure and valued.
- To build on what children already know and can do.
- To work together in partnership with parents.
- To provide opportunities for children to choose and engage in activities planned by adults and also those that they plan or initiate themselves.
- For teachers to be able to observe, respond and intervene appropriately in the learning process.
Communication and language development 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. There is a focus on developing children’s listening and speaking skills by giving them opportunities to express their experiences, ideas and feelings. They will be given time to share and enjoy a wide range of rhymes, music, songs, poetry, stories and non-fiction books. Children will be encouraged to handle books properly and talk about settings and characters. They will also be encouraged to make predictions and talk about how and why things work. Their vocabulary will be extended through topic work, sharing books and play activities.
Physical development involves providing opportunities for young children to be active and interactive; and to develop their co-ordination, control, and movement. Children must also be helped to understand the importance of physical activity, and to make healthy choices in relation to food. Your child will learn to move confidently, controlling their body and handling large and small equipment. They will use a range of climbing and balancing apparatus. They will have access to wheeled toys, balls, bats and other equipment and they will learn to control these and their bodies with increasing control and co-ordination with an awareness of space and people.
Personal, social and emotional development 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. Children will learn to be independent and show self-respect. They will learn to become aware of what is right and what is wrong and how to behave appropriately in different situations. They will learn to share and take turns, being sensitive to others’ needs. They will learn to respond with a range of emotions, and encounter new situations and experiences, including those from a variety of cultures and religions. They will be encouraged to work co-cooperatively in pairs, groups and as a whole class.
Literacy curriculum involves encouraging children to link sounds and letters and develop skills required to read and write. Children are given access to a wide range of reading materials (books, poems, and other written materials) to ignite their interest. The children will learn to retell stories, talk about characters and plot, discussing their likes and dislikes.
Mathematics involves providing children with opportunities to develop and improve their skills in counting, understanding and using numbers, calculating addition and subtraction problems; and to describe shapes, spaces, and measures. Your child will develop an understanding of maths through stories, songs, games and imaginative play. Through different activities children will begin to show awareness of capacity, weight and volume. Children will be encouraged to apply this knowledge to everyday activities.
Understanding the World 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. Children will be encouraged to talk about where they live, their families and events past and present. Through exploration, they will look at features of living things, objects and events in the natural and man-made world and will be taught to examine similarities, differences, patterns and change. They will build with different materials, learn about everyday technology and what it is used for. They will also find out about different cultures and beliefs.
Expressive Arts and Design involves enabling children to explore and play with a wide range of media and materials, as well as providing opportunities and encouragement for sharing their thoughts, ideas and feelings through a variety of activities in art, music, movement, dance, role-play, and design and technology. Your child will explore colours, try out dance, make things, tell stories and make music. There will be opportunities to explore and experiment with a variety of media and tools to help represent their ideas in many different ways. An appreciation of a variety of music is encouraged. The children will have the opportunity to listen to music from different cultures. The enjoyment of singing will be promoted with actions, movement and playing instruments. Role-play situations will be set up e.g. home corner, café, hospital, garage, etc. indoors and outdoors.
Learning at Home
At St Giles School, we believe that children benefit from engaging in activities at home with parents. These activities should be fun and engaging. We will send home ideas for ways to help at home, and will introduce library books to share at home on a weekly basis, and reading books after the children have settled.
Home activities may include:
- Reading books
- Counting things in your everyday lives
- Reciting nursery rhymes and counting rhymes
- Identification of shapes in the environment
- Phonics games
- Fastening and unfastening buttons and zips and tying shoelaces
- Maths games
- Talk topics
Regular phonics sessions build a solid base which enables children to decode text and for early reading skills to flourish. Reading scheme books will be given out during the Reception year, only when children have sufficient early reading skills. As your child’s first and most important educator, we really value your input to your child’s Learning Journal too and we have WOW! Sheets for recording special Wow! moments in your child’s life with us – such as something new they have learned or something interesting they have said or done at home with you.