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Early Years

The Early Years Department at Nottingham British School

At Nottingham British Academy we follow the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) Curriculum as set up and revised by the British Association for Early Childhood Education.

The EYFS Curriculum has been adapted to the abilities and needs of the children, and they work in a safe and structured learning environment that offers support and guidance at every level of learning.

As development in the Early Years is rapid, a child’s experiences between birth and the age of five have a significant impact on all future growth and learning. Therefore, it is essential to create a secure, safe and happy environment, together with high quality early learning opportunities and experiences in order to provide the foundation that children need to make the most of their abilities and talents.

Our aim in the Early Years Department at Nottingham British School is to have children who enjoy learning, who are confident and independent learners; and to provide for early intervention where necessary.

KG & Reception - Curriculum
a) personal Social and Emotional Development

Self-confidence and self-awareness:

By the end of the Early Years Foundation Stage, children should be:

  • confident when trying new activities
  • able to say why they like some activities more than others
  • confident when speaking in a familiar group
  • able to talk about their ideas
  • able to choose the resources they need for their chosen activities
  • able to say when they do or don’t need help.

Managing feelings and behaviour:

By the end of the Early Years Foundation Stage, children should be:

  • able to talk about how they and others show feelings
  • able to work as part of a group or class
  • able to understand and follow the rules
  • able to adjust their behaviour to different situations
  • able to take changes of routine in their stride

Making relationships:

By the end of the Early Years Foundation Stage, children should be:

  • able to play co-operatively, taking turns with others
  • able to take account of one another’s ideas about how to organise their activity
  • able to show sensitivity to others’ needs and feelings, and form positive relationships with adults and other children

b) Communication and Language

Listening and attention:

By the end of the Early Years Foundation Stage, children should be:

  • able to listen attentively in a range of situations
  • able to listen to stories, accurately anticipating key events and responding to what they hear with relevant comments, questions or actions
  • able to give their attention to what others say and respond appropriately, while engaged in another activity

Understanding:

By the end of the Early Years Foundation Stage, children should be:

  • able to follow instructions involving several ideas or actions.
  • able to answer ‘how’ and ‘why’ questions about their experiences and in response to stories or events

Speaking:

By the end of the Early Years Foundation Stage, children should be:

  • able to express themselves effectively, showing awareness of the listeners’ needs
  • able to use past, present and future forms accurately when talking about events that have happened or are to happen in the future
  • able to develop their own narratives and explanations by connecting ideas or events

c) Physical Development

Moving and handling:

By the end of the Early Years Foundation Stage, children should:

  • know the importance for good health of physical exercise, and a healthy diet, and talk about ways to keep healthy and safe
  • manage their own basic hygiene and personal needs successfully, including dressing and going to the toilet independently

Literacy

Writing:

By the end of the Early Years Foundation Stage, children should be:

  • able to use their phonic knowledge to write words in ways which match their spoken sounds
  • able to write some irregular common words
  • able to write simple sentences which can be read by themselves and others. Some words are spelt correctly and others are phonetically plausible.

In both KG and Reception, we teach the children to read and write through the use of a Phonics program. At this stage children are taught the sounds of the English language, rather than the alphabet.

More specifically, in KG the focus will be primarily on developing good pencil control, working on their fine motor skills, and, eventually, letter formation.

In Reception children will focus on improving their pencil control and pencil grip, letter formation, tracing and copying, until they are able to write their own words and sentences using their phonic knowledge.

Reading: 

By the end of the Early Years Foundation Stage, children should:

  • read and understand simple sentences
  • use phonic knowledge to decode regular words and read them aloud accurately
  • read some common irregular words
  • demonstrate understanding when talking with others about what they have read

More specifically, in KG pre-reading skills are taught, while in Reception we will make use of a number of different Reading Schemes to teach children how to read.

a) Maths

Numbers:

By the end of the Early Years Foundation Stage, children should be:

  • able to count reliably with numbers from 1 to 20, place them in order and say which number is one more or one less than a given number.
  • able to use quantities and objects to add and subtract two single-digit numbers and count on or back to find the answer
  • able to solve problems, including doubling, halving and sharing

Shape, space and measures: 

By the end of the Early Years Foundation Stage, children should:

  • use everyday language to talk about size, weight, capacity, position, distance, time and money to compare quantities and objects and to solve problems
  • recognise, create and describe patterns.
  • be able to explore characteristics of everyday objects and shapes and use mathematical language to describe them

More specifically, KG children will cover the basic 2D shapes, learn to read/write/count numbers 1 – 10, and learn about size: bigger/smaller, and quantity: more/less.

In Reception, children will cover 2D and 3D shapes, learn to read/write/count numbers 1 – 20, learn about size: bigger/smaller, quantity: more/less, capacity: empty/full, and time (o’clock, half past). Basic addition and subtraction within 20 will be taught, as well as basic doubling, halving and sharing.

b) Understanding of the World

People and communities: 

By the end of the Early Years Foundation Stage, children should:

  • talk about past and present events in their own lives and in the lives of family members
  • know that other children don’t always enjoy the same things, and are sensitive to this
  • know about similarities and differences between themselves and others, and among families, communities and traditions

The world: 

By the end of the Early Years Foundation Stage, children should:

  • know about similarities and differences in relation to places, objects, materials and living things
  • talk about the features of their own immediate environment and how environments might vary from one another
  • make observations of animals and plants and explain why some things occur, and talk about changes

Technology: 

By the end of the Early Years Foundation Stage, children should:

  • recognise that a range of technology is used in places such as homes and schools
  • be able to select and use technology for particular purposes

Children learn through play, hands-on experiences and exploration. In EYFS they are introduced to basic scientific aspects, such as light and dark, push and pull, hot and cold, floating and sinking, as well as a variety of topics.

c) Expressive Arts and Design

Exploring and using media and materials:

By the end of the Early Years Foundation Stage, children should:

  • sing songs, make music and dance, and experiment with ways of changing them
  • safely use and explore a variety of materials, tools and techniques, experimenting with colour, design, texture, form and function.

Being imaginative:

By the end of the Early Years Foundation Stage, children should:

  • use what they have learnt about media and materials in original ways, thinking about uses and purposes
  • represent their own ideas, thoughts and feelings through design and technology, art, music, dance, role-play and stories.

All teaching in Early Years is aimed at making learning fun. Hands-on activities and age-appropriate lessons engage the children fully in the academic aspects of the Foundation Stage.

The aim of the Early Years is to make sure that the foundation of future learning is established firmly before the child moves up to Year 1.

Other Information
Observation and assessment is an important part of good educational practice and reflects the philosophy and educational approach to viewing the child as a unique, active and developing human being.

To ensure that we are meeting the needs of the children as well as possible, staff keep a Student Profile for every child in their care.

These are regularly evaluated and used to plan for pupil progress and development.

Assessment of the Early Years child is based on the teacher’s knowledge of child development, and is in line with the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) for children from 22 – 36 months (PreKG), 30-50 months (KG), 40-60+ months and the Early Learning Goals (Reception).

There may be times where the child may need extra support if there are questions around their learning and development, language support or in any other area. This will be provided in collaboration between parents, class teacher and the Head of Department.
Educational visits to locations outside the school will be arranged by the Early Years team, and will, in as much as possible, relate to the topics being explored at the time.

Off-site activities can supplement and enrich the curriculum of the school by providing experiences which would be impossible within the school, and hence it is important that all children attend these trips.

Parents are the child’s first and most important teacher and, from the start, we work to build strong partnerships with parents to support children’s learning and development.
Early Years students begin the day at 07.00 and finish at 12.30. Please ensure that your child is in school on time, as lateness is disruptive for both your child, and the other children in the class.

If parents wish their child to stay after 12.30 we have a Late Room for which there is an extra charge.

Every first Thursday in the month we invite parents to ‘Stay and Play’ alongside their children from 07.00 to 08.00.

Pre-KG Class: The Toddlers Room
The aim of the Toddlers Room at Nottingham British School is to prepare the children for KG through the use of play based learning and one-on-one support from the teacher and teaching assistant.

With this in mind, we have created a curriculum that follows the EYFS Primary Areas of Learning for 22 to 36 months.

Through the use of Montessori Learning techniques and hands-on, interactive learning and teaching, the focus during this year will be on language development, fine and gross motor skills and personal, social and emotional development.

Communication and Language 

Listening and attention 

By the end of the pre-KG year, children should:

  • Listen with interest to the noises adults make when they read stories
  • Recognise and respond to many familiar sounds, e.g. turning to a knock on the door, looking at or going to the door.
  • Show interest in play with sounds, songs and rhymes.
  • Single channelled attention. Can shift to a different task if attention fully obtained – using child’s name helps focus.

Understanding

By the end of the pre-KG year, children should:

  • Identify action words by pointing to the right picture, e.g., “Who’s jumping?”
  • Understand more complex sentences, e.g. ‘Put your toys away and then we’ll read a book.’
  • Understand ‘who’, ‘what’, ‘where’ in simple questions (e.g. Who’s that/can? What’s that? Where is.?).
  • Develop understanding of simple concepts (e.g. big/little).

Speaking

By the end of the pre-KG year, children should:

  • Use language as a powerful means of widening contacts, sharing feelings, experiences and thoughts.
  • Hold a conversation, jumping from topic to topic.
  • Learn new words very rapidly and be able to use them in communicating.
  • Use gestures, sometimes with limited talk, e.g. reaches toward toy, saying ‘I have it’.
  • Use a variety of questions (e.g. what, where, who).
  • Use simple sentences (e.g.’ Mummy gonna work.’)
  • Begin to use word endings (e.g. going, cats).

Making relationships

By the end of the pre-KG year, children should:

  • Be interested in others’ play and starting to join in.
  • Seek out others to share experiences.
  • Show affection and concern for people who are special to them.
  • May form a special friendship with another child.

Selfconfidence and selfawareness

By the end of the pre-KG year, children should:

  • Separate from main carer with support and encouragement from a familiar adult.
  • Express own preferences and interests.

Managing Feelings

By the end of the pre-KG year, children should:

  • Seek comfort from familiar adults when needed.
  • Express their own feelings such as sad, happy, cross, scared, worried.
  • Respond to the feelings and wishes of others.
  • Be aware that some actions can hurt or harm others.
  • Try to help or give comfort when others are distressed.
  • Show understanding and cooperate with some boundaries and routines.
  • Be able to inhibit own actions/behaviours, e.g. stop themselves from doing something they shouldn’t do.
  • Have a growing ability to distract self when upset, e.g. by engaging in a new play activity.

 

Moving and handling

By the end of the pre-KG year, children should:

  • Run safely on whole foot.
  • Squat with steadiness to rest or play with object on the ground, and rise to feet without using hands.
  • Climb confidently and begin to pull themselves up on nursery play climbing equipment.
  • Kick a large ball.
  • Turn pages in a book, sometimes several at once.
  • Show control in holding and using jugs to pour, hammers, books and mark-making tools.
  • Begin to use three fingers (tripod grip) to hold writing tools.
  • Imitate drawing simple shapes such as circles and lines.
  • Walk upstairs or downstairs holding onto a rail, two feet to a step.
  • Be beginning to show preference for dominant hand.

Health and selfcare

By the end of the pre-KG year, children should:

  • Feed self competently with spoon.
  • Drink well without spilling.
  • Clearly communicate their need for potty or toilet.
  • Begin to recognise danger and seeks support of significant adults for help.
  • Help with clothing, e.g. putting on hat, unzipping zipper on jacket, taking off unbuttoned shirt.
  • Begin to be independent in self-care, but still often need adult support.

Numbers

By the end of the pre-KG year, children should:

  • Select a small number of objects from a group when asked, for example, ‘please give me one’, ‘please give me two’.
  • Recite some number names in sequence.
  • Create and experiment with symbols and marks representing ideas of number.
  • Begin to make comparisons between quantities.
  • Use some language of quantities, such as ‘more’ and ‘a lot’.
  • Know that a group of things changes in quantity when something is added or taken away.

Shape, space and measures

By the end of the pre-KG year, children should:

  • Notice simple shapes and patterns in pictures.
  • Begin to categorise objects according to properties such as shape or size.
  • Begin to use the language of size.
  • Understand some talk about immediate past and future, e.g. ‘before’, ‘later’ or ‘soon’.
  • Anticipate specific time-based events such as mealtimes or home time.

Reading

By the end of the pre-KG year, children should:

  • Have some favourite stories, rhymes, songs, poems or jingles.
  • Repeat words or phrases from familiar stories.
  • Fill in the missing word or phrase in a known rhyme, story or game, e.g. ‘Humpty Dumpty sat on a …’.

Writing

By the end of the pre-KG year, children should:

  • Distinguish between the different marks they make.

People and communities 

By the end of the pre-KG year, children should:

  • Have a sense of own immediate family and relations.
  • In pretend play, imitate everyday actions and events from own family and cultural background, e.g. making and drinking tea.
  • Begin to have their own friends.
  • Learn that they have similarities and differences that connect them to, and distinguish them from, others.

The world 

By the end of the pre-KG year, children should:

  • Enjoy playing with small-world models such as a farm, a garage, or a train track.
  • Notice detailed features of objects in their environment.

Technology 

By the end of the pre-KG year, children should:

  • Seek to acquire basic skills in turning on and operating some ICT equipment.
  • Operate mechanical toys, e.g. turns the knob on a wind-up toy or pulls back on a friction car.

Exploring & using media & materials 

By the end of the pre-KG year, children should:

  • Join in singing favourite songs.
  • Create sounds by banging, shaking, tapping or blowing.
  • Show an interest in the way musical instruments sound.
  • Experiment with blocks, colours and marks.

Being imaginative 

By the end of the pre-KG year, children should:

  • Begin to use representation to communicate, e.g. drawing a line and saying ‘That’s me.’
  • Begin to make-believe by pretending.

 

Observation and assessment is an important part of good educational practice and reflects the philosophy and educational approach to viewing the child as a unique, active and developing human being.

To ensure that we are meeting the needs of the children as well as possible, staff keep a Student Profile for every child in their care.

These are regularly evaluated and used to plan for pupil progress and development.

Assessment of the Early Years child is based on the teacher’s knowledge of child development, and is in line with the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) for children from 22 – 36 months (PreKG), 30-50 months (KG), 40-60+ months and the Early Learning Goals (Reception).

Parents are the child’s first and most important teacher and, from the start, we work to build strong partnerships with parents to support children’s learning and development.

Timings

Early Years students begin the day at 07.00 and finish at 12.30. Please ensure that your child is in school on time, as lateness is disruptive for both your child, and the other children in the class.

Also make sure that your child attends school consistently, with as little absences as possible, as missed work is often difficult to catch up with.

If parents wish their child to stay after 12.30 we have a Late Room for which there is an extra charge. However, for Pre-KG children, it is strongly recommended that they are collected on time at 12h30, and not later.