In Early Years children learn both within and outside the classroom. Adults support children in playing and exploring, active learning and developing creativity and critical thinking. We use resources that promote possibility thinking and offer limitless opportunities for play and learning. Children learn by leading their own play, and by taking part in play that is guided by adults.
Reading & Writing in Early Years
From an early stage, children develop an awareness of different sounds. They need lots of opportunities to talk to help them develop and practise their speaking and listening skills. This helps them to build confidence and their ability to communicate with others.
In order to develop early reading and writing skills, children need lots of opportunities to talk to an adult and be listened to. Parents and carers should use everyday activities such as preparing meals, tidying up, going shopping as an opportunity to talk to your child. These experiences provide an opportunity for children to hear the way that language is put together in sentences for a purpose.
Books are a rich sources of new words for your child - words you would not use in everyday conversations appear in books. Children need to have a wide range of vocabulary to understand the meaning of books - so read aloud and share books as often as you can.
Click on the links below for some useful tips on how to support your child in learning to read at home and for some ideas of good books to read:
Mark making is the first step towards writing. Mark making in the early stages is closely linked to physical development. The more opportunities that your child has to develop marge and small movements in their arms, hands and fingers, the easier that it will be for them to make marks with a variety of tools.
Activities such as digging, 'painting' outdoor surfaces with water and a large brush, sweeping, and swishing a scarf through the air in different shapes will help develop large motor movement. Small or fine motor movement will be needed to hold pencils and pens correctly. Playing with pegs, using a peg board, picking up small objects such as grains of rice, with fingers or tweezers will help develop the pincher grip needed for writing.
In the early stages of learning to write, your child will like to experiment with making marks on paper with a variety of writing tools such as brushes, pens, pencils and felt tip markers. They will often include drawings for their writing. Sometimes your child will want you to write for them. It is a good idea at this stage to use lower case letters when you write for your child, introducing capital letters only for names.
Maths in Early Years
As well as developing an understanding number, children develop skills such as problem solving, understanding and using shapes and measure and develop their own spatial awareness. Children also learn to recognise, create and describe patters, which is essential for early problem solving skills.
Maths is everywhere in the home! With the support of parents, children can grasp many mathematical concepts through their play and daily life. There are many practical opportunities to learn about number, shape, space, sorting and matching through:
* setting places at the table before a meal
* playing with water
* helping to sort the washing, matching socks, big shirt / small shirt
* tidying up - putting similar items together
* identifying shapes in the home and when you're out and about