The Early Years Foundation Stage Principles and the Montessori philosophy provides a framework that informs the way we organise and care for our children.
Early Years Foundation Stage Happy Learners Childminder recognize the importance of early language awareness and staff members aim to provide the conditions necessary for children to develop and extend their language skills. Early stimulation and good quality care are essential for children to develop physically, intellectually, emotionally and socially. When working with the babies and toddlers, independence, confidence and mobility are encouraged through a variety of activities using a strong sensory approach. Treasure baskets, heuristic play, cooking, singing songs and music times, outdoor play and co-ordination activities are included in the weekly time-table. We recognize the importance of the role of the Early Years practitioner in setting the foundations for learning. Our curriculum is planned using the Montessori learning styles and principles guided by the statutory requirements of the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS).
The greatness of the human personality begins at the hour of birth. " Maria Montessori.
The curriculum covers a wide variety of Montessori activities which incorporates the foundation stage curriculum. The nursery offers a Montessori work cycle that operates in the morning and afternoon. This forms part of a well-defined Montessori curriculum. It is the Montessori materials that provide the key to reading, writing, language, maths, geography, science and cultural awareness. Children are free to select and help themselves to an activity with guidance by pursuing his or her individual interests; the child acquires an early enthusiasm for learning. By being allowed a choice, the child becomes responsible and confident while learning with enthusiasm. Children quickly become independent; this helps to form your child’s character and personality. Children will become confident and gain self-esteem.
Dr Maria Montessori was an inspirational woman who studied and analysed the world of a child, creating an approach towards their growth and education that incorporated every aspect of their development to allow each to fulfil their potential into adult life
The EYFS covers children from birth to 31st August following their fifth birthday. It aims to help young children achieve the five ‘Every Child Matters (ECM)’ outcomes, which are: Staying Safe; Being Healthy; Enjoying and Achieving; Making a Positive Contribution; and Achieving Economic Well Being. The EYFS framework also incorporates seven broad areas of learning, which are:
• Personal, Social, and Emotional Development The children learn that there are others like them with the same personal and emotional needs. The children develop their P,S,E through turn taking and sharing which is the first experience most young children encounter. They also start to form the basis of relationships with other adults and children who may come from different backgrounds and cultures. We celebrate all major festivals, of different faiths during the year with stories, art and craft activities, cooking and decorations. Finally we help children to learn how to be independent and exercise the confidence needed later in life.
• Communication and Language development We provide activities related to language acquisition through circle tie, where children learn to listen and discuss various topics of interest e.g. the weather, the days of the week, their personal experiences, colors, numbers, and how to keep healthy. In addition songs and rhymes where children acquire vocabulary and rhythm through familiar and new nursery songs and rhymes. We also have other activities, such as ' what's in the bag?' activity which helps children to make links by picking an object from the bag, that represent a nursery song or rhyme. We also support the importance of Early Language through the 'Home Learning Packs', where parents can choose to take a pack home and spend some quality time with their children.The aim of the packs are to support language, communication skills and making links with their Next steps through their interests in their homes with their parents and carers.
• Physical Development We have great facilities both indoors and outdoor on developing children's physical skills through climbing, running and balancing. There are also tricycles where they develop co-ordination and spatial awareness. We also provide activities to develop fine, gross motor skills and also hand and eye co-ordination. We also encourage children to do everyday activities which are part of our life, such as cooking and gardening, which will develop their self-confidence and self- esteem to become more independent. We also have Yoga , Language and Drama and music and movement sessions to help with physical development.
• Literacy skills We provide activities related to literacy through the book corner where children can select a variety of books, sharing stories at circle time throughout the day, through the quiet listening area children are able to listen to CD- Stories and getting used to technology. We have writing areas both indoors and outdoors with a variety of mark making equipment's, including the Montessori sand tray and Knobbed cylinders to develop their early writing and reading skills.
• Mathematical Development We ensure learning mathematical concepts by providing materials in our Montessori shelves, through our weekly planned activities, both indoors and outdoors, such as sorting, matching and measuring e.g.. The children explore shape, size, weight and length through a variety of ways.
• Understanding the World We aim to introduce and extend the children's knowledge and understanding of science and the world around them by exploring natural materials and their properties, such as sand, water and clay. We encourage outdoor pursuits through daily activities, visits to local libraries and local shops. We also introduce computer technology which opens up various avenues of learning. We have a quiet listening area where the children can listen to CD-Stories through the CD-Player and extend their knowledge and understanding on how technology works and on how to use them.
• Expressive arts and design We encourage Expressive Arts and Design through story telling, Language and Drama sessions and activities, role play, music and movement, drawing, painting through using various tools such as scissors, glue spreaders and cello tape and much more. Play dough and clay is also used to help children learn how to sculpt and develop sensoriall approach to learning.
To find out more about the EYFS see: www.standards.dcsf.gov.uk/eyfs
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