The Curriculum

The Pre-school session is arranged so that children are free to choose from a rich variety of activities which will develop their potential at their own pace. The support of a highly qualified staff helps and encourages the children to learn through discovery and exploration.

All our activities are guided by the Early Years Foundation Stage of the National Curriculum (EYFS), which will enable the children to develop key learning skills in preparation for the next stage of their education.

Pre-school week is planned around specific themes emphasised by our Interest and Nature Tables and our Imaginative Play Area. Each session offers the opportunity to enjoy painting, sand and water play, clay and dough, dressing up, music, book and home corners, jigsaws, small manipulative toys, larger construction items and physical challenge on the climbing frame.

Through these, and the ideas developed on our daily creative table, the Pre-school is able to meet the seven areas of learning and development as required by the EYFS.  These enable the children to make maximum progress towards the Early Learning Goals which should be achieved by the end of the primary school reception year.

Although all the areas of learning and development are important and inter-connected, three areas are recognised as being particularly crucial for developing children's curiosity and enthusiasm for learning. These are the prime areas covering communication and language; physical development and personal, social and emotional development. Learning is further supported through four specific areas which cover literacy; mathematics; understanding the world and expressive arts and design.

We ensure that the Pre-school day is never dull and follow a familiar routine which helps the children to settle in. Prominent features of the morning include activity centred around our creative table and imaginative play area, with the home corner, sand, dough, jigsaws and small manipulative toys also on offer. Water play, painting, dressing up and the book corner are constant features of the session as are our Interest and Nature Tables and the opportunity to follow through their own creative ideas at our well equipped collage/mark-making area.

The children enjoy their mid-morning snack through our "café" system which is further opportunity for social interaction. Our 'free-flow' policy of use of the large hall/outdoor area gives scope for yet more activities and the session ends with storytime held in one or two groups.

In planning and guiding the children's activities we take heed of the different ways children learn. These are known as the Characteristics of Learning as described below:

  1. Playing and learning- finding out and exploring, playing with what they know, being willing to have a go
  2. Active learning- being involved and concentrating, keeping trying, enjoying achieving what they set out to do
  3. Creating and thinking critically- having their own ideas, making links, choosing ways to do things

(EYFS statutory framework 2012 P7)

 

PRIME AREAS:

Communication and Language

We offer an environment that is rich in opportunities to develop language. In both small and large groups children are encouraged to extend their vocabulary and fluency by talking and listening, and by hearing and responding to stories, songs and rhymes. A singing session takes place every day, which includes finger rhymes, rhythm and sound work. We also have a high regard for the home language for those children entering the Pre-school whose first language is not English.

Personal, Social and Emotional Development

Meeting and playing with children of a similar age provides a marvellous opportunity to make new friends and grow in confidence. The children are encouraged to take part in the life of the group, whether it is sharing and co-operating with other children and adults or working and concentrating independently.

Through activities, conversation and practical example they learn acceptable ways to express their own feelings and to have respect for the feelings of others and to show care for their environment.   All children are given the opportunity to explore new learning situations and solve simple practical problems.

Physical Development

Our large hall space and outdoor area ensures each session contains  time for "Large Movement" giving the children confidence and enjoyment in the use and development of their own bodily skills. The well-supervised climbing frame is always popular and this plus other equipment both small and large allows for increase in co-ordination and controls of both gross and fine motor skills.

 

Literacy

Our well stocked book corner gives every child the opportunity to become familiar with books and how to care for them. Our system for mid morning refreshments quickly allows children to recognise their own names and every encouragement is given to help them understand that written symbols carry meaning. Within all activities and especially our imaginative play we use a wide range of written materials and encourage children to link sounds to letters.

Mathematics

A vast majority of our activities offer practical experience for the children to encounter mathematical concepts. Our varied tabletop games encourage sorting, matching, ordering, sequencing and counting. Lots of pre-maths skills can be acquired through sand and water play including relevant vocabulary to describe shape, position, size and quantity. Particular weekly themes will also bring recognition of some shapes and numbers. We use all opportunities to enable the children to become comfortable with numbers.

Understanding the World

 

Through our weekly themes and activities we help the children to learn and understand the world about them. We celebrate many different multi-cultural festivals and use special events to help them find out about their environment and people and places that have significance in their lives. We often focus on a specific country with its different lifestyle and sample different foods. Our Nature Table offers the opportunity to explore a wide range of materials, both natural and manufactured, and visitors to our group include Goldfish, Snails, Worms, Caterpillars and Butterflies. A range of safe and well-maintained equipment, including our computer, enables the children to extend their technological understanding. Opportunity is given to all children to solve problems, make decisions, experiment, predict, plan and question in a variety of contexts.

 

Through our weekly themes and activities we help the children to learn and understand the world about them. We celebrate many different multi-cultural festivals and use special events to help them find out about their environment and people and places that have significance in their lives. We often focus on a specific country with its different lifestyle and sample different foods. Our Nature Table offers the opportunity to explore a wide range of materials, both natural and manufactured, and visitors to our group include Goldfish, Snails, Worms, Caterpillars and Butterflies. A range of safe and well-maintained equipment, including our computer, enables the children to extend their technological understanding. Opportunity is given to all children to solve problems, make decisions, experiment, predict, plan and question in a variety of contexts.

Expressive Arts and Design

Our daily creative activity linked to the theme of the week offers the children a wide range of resources for them to express their own ideas in two or three dimensions. The opportunity to paint, draw, collage and cook provides for open-ended exploration of colour, texture, shape and form. The children are encouraged to join in with and respond to music and stories. Coupled with our imaginative play area this gives much scope for them to develop their imagination, to listen, to observe and to communicate their feelings.

Physical Development

Cannon Lane Pre-school is dedicated to making our children feel secure, valued and confident, and developing a sense of achievement through learning which is both a pleasurable and rewarding experience.