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Early Years Foundation

EARLY YEARS: 3 – 4+ YEAR OLDS

The Foundation Stage 1 & 2 – Nursery and Reception

“Every child deserves the best possible start in life and the support that enables them to fulfil their potential. Children develop quickly in the early years and a child’s experiences between birth and age five have a major impact on their future life chances… Good parenting and high quality early learning together provide the foundation children need to make the most of their abilities and talents as they grow up.”

St Joseph’s International Institution Malaysia (SJIIM) uses the Early Years Foundation Stage Framework as the basis for its curriculum in Nursery and Reception. This framework ensures that all children have access to broad range of knowledge, and skills that are essential for future progress through school and life.

SJIIM is committed to ensuring that children embark on their learning journey in a stimulating environment where carefully planned and playful integrated learning opportunities offer exciting hands on experiences that challenge and engage children from the moment they walk in the door. Within this learning environment, there are consistently high expectations and a strong pastoral ethos that ensures children feel valued, confident, secure and happy to learn. Children are encouraged to think inquisitively and cultivate their own ideas; they develop positive relationships with adults and peers alike. They are encouraged to be independent, behave responsibly and foster a lifelong love of learning.

In the Early Years Foundation Stage Curriculum, there are seven areas of learning and development, all of which are important and interconnected. These seven areas are divided into three Prime Areas; these are crucial as they are the basis for igniting children’s curiosity, their capacity to learn and become successful learners, form relationships and thrive. These Prime Areas are strengthened and applied in four Specific Areas of development.

Prime Areas of Learning

Communication & Language underpins all areas of learning and development. At SJIIM children are provided with a language rich environment, they learn to express themselves in a coherent and creative way. They learn to listen, share their thoughts and ideas in a range of situations, on a one-to-one basis and in larger groups. Children begin to interact collaboratively with their peers and familiar adults. They begin to negotiate plans and develop talk through play, using language to recreate and imagine experiences.

Physical Development involves providing opportunities for young children to be active and interactive; and to develop not only their co-ordination, agility, gross motor and fine control, and movement but also a sense of well-being. Children are helped to understand the importance of physical activity, and to make healthy choices in relation to food. On entry to the Foundation Stage children are expected to be independent and manage their own personal hygiene.

Personal, Social and Emotional Development involves helping children to develop a positive sense of themselves, and others; to form positive relationships and 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. Great emphasis is placed upon the children exploring the world around them, and time is taken to give the children tools to verbalise and understand how they feel.

Specific Areas

Literacy development involves providing children with access to a wide range of mark making, writing and reading materials (books, poems, and other written materials). The skills of reading and writing develop throughout Nursery and into Reception as children explore, enjoy, learn about, use words and text in a broad range of contexts. At the end of Reception children are expected to be able to read and understand sentences, use phonic knowledge to decode regular words and read aloud accurately. In writing, at the end of Reception children use their phonic knowledge to write words in ways which match their spoken sounds. They also write some irregular common words and write simple sentences which can be read by themselves and others. Reading and writing is a journey, children progress at different rates and at SJIIM we ensure that children are supported at each phase of their development.

At the end of Reception children are assessed against 17 early learning goals. These summarise the knowledge, skills, and understanding that all young children should have gained by the end of the academic year in which they turn five. Children that achieve or exceed these goals are ready to benefit from the opportunities available to them when they begin the National Curriculum for England Year 1.

Mathematical Development at SJIIM involves providing children with opportunities turn the abstract world of mathematics into an exciting place. Activities and hands-on experiences facilitate children exploring ‘real life’ mathematics. Role play has a vital role within the EYFS environment and enables our children to use and apply their mathematical thinking in a relevant way, equipping them with a love of mathematics and solid mathematical foundation upon which all subsequent learning will be built. Towards the end of term two children in the Reception Year are introduced to the Singapore Maths Curriculum.

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. Children observe and compare, talk about patterns and the changes they see, they speculate about why things happen and how things work, they begin to develop creative and critical thinking skills through active learning. Children’s understanding of the world develops in a rich and exciting environment based on our international setting, and this is developed in their play activities and teacher led sessions.

Expressive Art & Design at SJIIM involves enabling children to express their ideas and creativity through individual and collaborative projects. Children explore and play with a wide range of media and materials; they share their thoughts, ideas and feelings in art, music, movement, dance, role-play, and design and technology.

At the end of Reception children are assessed against 17 early learning goals. These summarise the knowledge, skills, and understanding that all young children should have gained by the end of the academic year in which they turn five. Children that achieve or exceed these goals are ready to benefit from the opportunities available to them when they begin the National Curriculum for England Year 1.