The Early Years Curriculum

At St Christopher’s we follow the Early Years curriculum from Nursery through to the end of the Reception Year. In the early years your child will be working towards the Early Learning Goals. ‘There are seven areas of learning and development that shape the educational programme in the early years. All the areas of learning are important and inter-connected. These areas are particularly crucial for igniting children’s curiosity and enthusiasm for learning, and for building their capacity to learn, form relationships and thrive.

Seven areas of learning and development

The Prime Areas

Communication and Language

  • Children will speak and listen to others and maintain attention.
  • Children will be encouraged to listen to stories, rhymes and learn and perform a poem once a term.
  • Children’s use of language will become more proficient and their vocabulary will continue to extend.
  • Children will take part in termly poetry assemblies
  • Children will take part in the annual Nativity plays and whole school services
  • Children will learn French through songs and games intended to introduce basic vocabulary.

Physical Development

  • During their weekly PE lessons, children will learn to move with confidence in a number of ways, negotiating space successfully.
  • They will become more skilful at climbing and using equipment, e.g. catching the ball.
  • They will use tools and equipment safely with increasing control, including holding a pencil effectively and cutting with scissors.
  • They will learn handwriting patterns and how to write their name.
  • They will practise manipulative skills, e.g. cooking and threading.
  • The children will become aware of being healthy and how to maintain good health. Children will take increasing responsibility for managing their own hygiene and when putting on their coat.
  • Children have the opportunity to have swimming lessons in school every week, all year around.
  • Weekly games lessons will introduce more complex ball games, such as Tag Rugby to improve co-ordination and spatial awareness. (R)

Personal, Social and Emotional Development

  • Children will learn to play cooperatively with others and will form good relationships with peers and familiar adults. They will learn to share and take turns with resources and play games together.
  • They will gain increasing independence, including selecting their own activities.
  • They will develop their confidence to try new activities and talk to others. Children will become more aware of their own feelings and those of other people; and understand appropriate behaviour and the implication of their behaviour towards others.

The Specific Areas

Literacy

  • Children will engage in rhyming, rhythmic and alliterative activities.
  • They will listen to poems, songs, stories and non-fiction books.
  • They will become aware of the features of stories.
  • Through Letterland the children will begin to learn letter-sounds and write these when they are ready. They will also learn to recognise words.
  • Consolidate the letter sounds and learn correct formation using the Letterland scheme (R)
  • Consonant and Vowel graphemes from L&S Phase 2 and 3 are introduced weekly
  • Independent writing is done weekly, along with the introduction of Red Write Inc’s Get Writing scheme in the spring term, building on sentence structure and story comprehension. (R)
  • Daily reading, progressing at the child’s owns pace. (R)

Mathematics

  • Children will learn to recite numbers.
  • They will learn to represent numbers using fingers, marks on paper or pictures.
  • They will begin to recognise numbers and count objects through the use of number stories and rhymes.
  • They will compare two groups of objects.
  • Children will develop their mathematical vocabulary, for example shape, position and measure.
  • They will explore patterns and create their own.
  • Number recognition to 20 and beyond. (R)
  • Addition and Subtraction concepts introduced, including counting on and back to find an answer (R)
  • Measuring, time (O’clock and Half Past), weighing, pattern and shape (2D and 3D) are all introduced (R)

Understanding the World

This encompasses finding out about people and community, their physical world and technology.

  • The children will be encouraged to talk about significant events in their own life and their family and find out about other people’s experiences.
  • They will begin to find out different ways of life and join in with various celebrations.
  • They will observe and find out about their environment and the natural world.
  • Children will learn to operate technological equipment, including computers and ipads.
  • Children will travel away on school trips to extend their knowledge of various themes and subjects.

Expressive Arts and Design

  • Children will be encouraged to explore and to play with a range of materials and media as well as be imaginative when they build, paint, draw etc.
  • Children will learn to sing familiar songs and dance.
  • They will explore musical instruments and explore how sounds change.
  • They will explore colour, texture e.g mixing paint.
  • Children will build objects and use tools for a purpose.
  • Children will engage in imaginative role-play with their peers.