A curriculum can be seen as subjects and courses offered by a school, college or educational body. It may be determined by an external body with authority, for example The National Curriculum. The National Curriculum is organised into blocks of years called 'key stages'. There are four key stages as well as an Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS). The EYFS covers education for children before they reach five years.
For each National Curriculum subject, there is a programme of study. The programmes of study describe the subject knowledge, skills and understanding pupils are expected to develop during each key stage. Children develop at different rates, but National Curriculum levels can give you an idea of how your child’s progress compares to what is typical for their age. For example, by the end of Key Stage 1, most children will have reached level 2, and by the end of Key Stage 2, most will be at level 3 or 4.
In my nursery we follow the Foundation Stage of early education. This is an introduced scheme aimed at children aged from birth to five years of age, and ensures that, wherever in the country children are, they will all get the same basic learning approach. There are six Early Learning Goals within the Foundation Stage, which means that children learn new skills and experiences in six main areas. These are:
Communication, Language and Literacy. (CLL)
Mathematical Development. (PSRN)
Personal and Social Education Development. (PSED)
Knowledge and Understanding of the World. (KUW)
Physical Development. (PD)
Creative Development. (CD)
All of these six goals are taught through a wide range of fun and enjoyable play activities. For example, a typical session of learning will consist of time when children can play on their own and choose their own activity, time when they learn together with the rest of the children, arts and crafts activities, music and singing, physical play - sometimes using equipments either inside or outside, reading and playing puzzles or games. There are also heaps of social benefits too, as they learn what it is like to be with peers their own age and interact with them socially throughout each session. This includes vital experience with making friends, falling out and learning about different people’s viewpoints, all of which help the social and emotional learning experience. At my nursery we have an emphasis on providing a balanced programme that allows children to develop skills and attitudes in a wide range of curriculum areas. While the programme provides ample opportunity for children to choose self-initiated activities, our structured times engage them across health and wellbeing, literacy, numeracy and science based activities.
None of these areas of Learning and Development can be delivered in isolation from the others. They are equally important and depend on each other to support a rounded approach to child development. All the areas must be delivered through planned, purposeful play, with a...