The Early Years curriculum at the Anglo-Portuguese School of London is designed to provide a broad and balanced education that meets the needs of all pupils within our care.
Through the seven areas of learning, we provide topics that excite and engage children, building on their own interests and developing their experiences of the world around them. We appreciate that children come into our setting with different backgrounds and experiences in learning and play. It is, therefore, our role to help children experience awe and wonder of the world in which they live. Staff ensure that learning opportunities provided widen children’s knowledge and understanding of the world, setting ambitious expectations for all children.
Our pedagogical approach is that we believe that children in the EYFS learn best through meaningful projects/themes where their learning is connected through play and exploration. We ensure that children have first-hand experiences with learning by providing them with manipulatives and concrete objects related to these topics, building their level of independence and curiosity through investigative learning.
Our learning opportunities provide in-depth investigations which can be teacher or child-led on finding out answers based on their interests. We follow the ‘Development Matters’ document and the ‘Characteristics of effective learning’ in order to provide all children with a wealth of learning experiences. We have also looked at ‘Orientações Curriculares para a Educação Pre-Escolar’ to acquire best practice from the Portuguese education system.
The Development Matters document is split into the Prime and Specific Areas, referenced in our EYFS Brochure, explanation below:
The Prime Areas are:
Communication and Language Development: 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.
Physical Development: 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.
Personal, Social and Emotional Development: 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.
The Specific Areas are:
Literacy Development: involves encouraging children to link sounds and letters and to begin to read and write. Children must be given access to a wide range of reading materials (books, poems, and other written materials) to ignite their interest.
Mathematics: providing children with opportunities to develop and improve their skills in counting, understanding and using numbers, calculating simple addition and subtraction problems; and to describe shapes, spaces, and measure.
Understanding the World: 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.
Expressive Arts and Design: 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.
We aim to ensure that our planned provision around those 7 areas also supports the Characteristics of Effective Learning:
There are 3 characteristics of effective learning according to the EYFS 2017:
Playing and exploring – engagement
- Finding out and exploring
- Playing with what they know
- Being willing to have a go
Active learning – motivation
- Being involved and concentrating
- Keeping trying
- Enjoying achieving what they set out to do
Creating and thinking critically – thinking
- Having their own ideas
- Making links
- Choosing to do things
Our pedagogical approach in the EYFS is supported by the following research and expertise:
Wandle Teaching School Alliance and Wandle EYFS Hubs – EYFS outdoor learning
Judy Harris Helm – various books and articles about early years pedagogy
WhiteRose Maths Scheme for Reception is based on research and was created by EY practitioners and mathematicians:
Providing challenge in EYFS mathematics: