Teachers use the statutory framework for Early Years Foundation (EYFS) to plan the curriculum. The curriculum is organised in to three prime areas:
Communication; Personal Social and Emotional Development (PSED); and Physical Development. Four additional areas, Literacy; Maths; Understanding the World; and Expressive Arts and Design are also taught to ensure that foundation skills are developed in all key areas of learning. At Stanton Vale we group the specific areas under the broad heading of ‘My Thinking’.
Our Early Years Department caters for Children up to Year 1 on different pathways (PMLD/Semi-Formal). The areas of learning and development consist of three prime areas and four specific areas;
Communication and Language
Communication and language development involves in giving children opportunities to experience a rich language; to develop their confidence and skills in expressing themselves whether that be orally, use of tone, gesture, sign, symbols or body language and to use the range of methods to communicate and listen in a range of situations. At Stanton Vale we use different techniques to extend the ability of those who have severe and complex difficulties and who may only have none verbal means of communication, for those who have limited verbal communication, gesture, Makaton Signs and PECS are used to aid expression and reinforce understanding.
Physical development involves in providing opportunities for young children to be aware of their bodies and to be encouraged to be as active and interactive as possible; to develop their co-ordination, control and movement in a progressive way. Access to Swimming, Rebound Therapy, Forest School, Sensory circuits, Safe mobility are important elements in helping ensure our children are as active and safe as possible. Where possible, children must also be helped to understand the importance of physical activity.
Personal, Social and Emotional Development
Personal, Social and Emotional Development involves helping children to develop a positive sense of themselves and in some cases to form positive relationships and develop respect for others; to develop social skills and learn how to manage their feelings; express them in acceptable ways; to understand appropriate behaviour in groups; and to have confidence in their own abilities. At Stanton Vale, the focus is for children to become more independent, learn to play and for some, initiating play with others.
The specific areas also play an important role in development and these specific areas are;
Literacy development involves encouraging children to show interest in books and rhymes, to look at books independently and to listen and join in with stories. For some it will involve mark making through a wide range of mixed media, sometimes distinguishing between the different marks they make and even extending to using clearly identifiable letters. Children must be given access to a wide range of reading materials (books, cause and effect books, information books) to ignite their interest. Children will experience, listen and respond to stories, songs and nursery/action rhymes.
Mathematics involves providing children with opportunities to develop and improve their experience and awareness of number names through their enjoyment of sensory and messy play, action and number rhymes and developing number language. For some, it will involve beginning to identify numbers, ordering and categorising objects, ordering numbers and showing interest in numerals in the environment. Children will also be able to experience and develop their awareness of daily routines through a sequence of actions and time based events. Children will experience and explore shape, space and measure.
Understanding the World
Understanding the world involves guiding children to make sense of their physical world and their community through opportunities to explore, observe, experience and find out about people, places, technology and the environment. Educational visits into the local community are an integral part of allowing children to experience and explore their local environment and to become familiar with features in the environment.
Expressive Arts and Design
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 and developing their thoughts, ideas, curiosity, imaginations and creativity and feelings through a variety of activities in art, music, movement, dance, role-play, and design and technology.