St. Oswalds Pre-School

Children’s Learning and Development

Play helps young children to learn and develop through doing and talking, which research has shown to be the means by which young children learn to think.  We use the Early Years Foundation Stage to plan and provide a range of play activities which help children to make progress in each of the areas of leaning and development.  In some of these activities the children decide how they will use the activity, and in others, an adult will take the lead in helping the children to take part in the activity.

Children have the opportunity daily to participate in outdoor play, and with your consent we take short walks to visit the library etc., and have visitors such as the Fire brigade and Police.

Areas of Learning and development

We follow the Early Years Foundation Stage, which has three ‘prime’ and four ‘specific’ areas, within each area we provide activities and experiences for the children, the prime areas are as follows:-

Personal, social and emotional development involves 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.

Physical development involves 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.

Communication and language involves 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 situation

The four 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 involves 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 measures.

Understanding of the world involves 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 involves 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.

Assessment

Assessment plays an important part in helping parents, carers and practitioners to recognise children’s progress, understand their needs, and to plan activities and support.  We assess how the children are learning and developing by observing them frequently, we use this information along with photographs to document their progress.  We believe that parents / carers know their children best and we ask them to contribute to assessment by sharing information about what their children like to do at home and how they as parents are supporting their development.  Please see our ‘Observation, Assessment and Planning Policy’.

Please see our Parent’s Guide. to the EYFS for more information.

Learning Journals

We recognise that parents are a child’s first educator, and we believe you should be centrally involved in your child’s learning experiences and development.  Through our Learning Journals we are able to make your child’s learning visible, so that you are able to understand what they are doing, and are able to contribute to and support their learning.

We use the Journal to record our observations and planning for your child.  We encourage parents to read it regularly and contribute your own experiences of your child’s learning and development.  We know that you want the very best for your child and we will work in partnership with you to achieve this.

Your child will experience many activities at Pre-School which will go unseen by yourself; however we hope this Journal will give you a wonderful insight into your child’s time here.

The Journal will be given to you and your child as a memento of their time with us, when they leave the Pre-School.