EYFS PLAY-BASED CURRICULUMWe believe children learn best through play. A playful learning can involve purposeful, facilitated, guided or free play. We prepare a play-based curriculum that meets Early Years Foundation Stage requirements and supports all the aspects of their learning and development. It supports their inbuilt curiosity and desire to make sense of the world around them and helps them to discover that learning is interesting and fun. This is vitally important so children are going to remain keen learners for the rest of their lives.
By thoughtful planning and the use of significant strategies to enhance children’s play experiences, we integrate specific learning goals and objectives for the group and for individuals through multiple intelligences and multisensory activities. We call it the play-based curriculum because it involves a range of activities and learning approaches– but the child’s right to learn through play is at the heart of the curriculum.
Play helps young children to learn and develop their physical, social, emotional and intellectual skills through doing and talking, which research has shown to be the means by which young children learn to think. It is also how they learn to socialize, as children engage in learning experiences with other children and adults.
The Early Years Foundation Stage frameworks covered:
- Personal, Social and Emotional Development
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. Children will become confident and show appropriate self-respect and be able to establish effective relationships with other children and with adults.
- Communication & Language
Communication and language development 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 situations. They will also use a growing vocabulary with increasing fluency to express thoughts and convey meaning to the listener. They will listen and respond to stories, songs, nursery rhymes and poems. They make up their own stories and take part in role play with confidence.
- Physical Development
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. We will also be focusing on children’s developing physical control, mobility, awareness of space and manipulative skills in indoor and outdoor environments. Children will be given the opportunity to move confidently and imaginatively with increasing control and co-ordination and an awareness of space and others.
Literacy 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. We will encourage children to enjoy books and handle them carefully; understanding how they are organized and to know that words and pictures carry meaning and that, in English, print is read from left to right and from top to bottom. They will begin to associate sounds with patterns, rhymes, syllables and with words and letters.
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. From their early times children will be acquiring and developing important aspects of mathematical understanding through practical activities and use of language. This develops as children use mathematical language, such as circle, in front of, bigger than and more, to describe shape, position, size and quantity. They will learn to recognize and create patterns, compare, sort, match, order, sequence, and count using everyday objects. They will begin to use their developing mathematical understanding to solve practical problems.
- Understanding the World
Understanding 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. As children become aware of their environment, their understanding of other people and the features of the natural world and man will also increase. Children will talk about where they live, their environment, their families and past and present events in their own lives. They will also talk about their observations, sometimes recording them and ask questions to gain information about why things happen and how things work.
- Expressive Arts & Design
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. They will use a widening range of materials, suitable tools, instruments and other resources to express ideas and to communicate their feelings. They will explore and select materials and use equipment and skills such as cutting, joining, folding and building for a variety of purposes.
ENABLING ENVIRONMENTOur job as educators working with a play-based curriculum is to facilitate play, to draw out and extend what children learn through play. Therefore, the environment, the daily routine and the role of the educator is structured to facilitate this. In our play-based centre you will see that the indoor and outdoor environments are structured so that children can play :
- Make believe play through various setting (kitchen, shop, garage, etc.). This offers children the chance to explore roles, relationships, skills – including language and numeracy skills and thinking and relationship skills
- Building with lego/blocks etc. to develop mathematical, design, collaboration and negotiation skills
- Sand and water play – to explore science concepts about volume, capacity, consistency, etc.
- Art – the purpose here is to encourage creative expression. Creativity creates alert minds that are able to invent and think outside the box.
- Stories, songs, rhymes – Children love them and they are a real help in developing language, rhythm, movement and a sense of community
- Big movement play – where children stretch themselves – learn to manage risk – develop a sense of adventure and well-being as well as important physical and mental skills.
Our daily routine during playgroup activities is structured to ensure that there is time for:
- Small and large group time – this could be a time for stories, songs, rhyme, and movement.
- Free play, indoors and outdoors – where children choose their activities and explore and experiment with the materials around them, either on their own or in collaboration with other children
- Guided activities – where we plan series of play activities integrated to each age group learning goals, throughout the domains of physical, social/emotional, creative, science, math, language, and literacy
- Tidy up times and meal times are also part of the learning experience for children.