At Clowns our curriculum is designed to challenge and support the development of children’s knowledge and skills. Our curriculum intent is to:
- facilitate high quality teaching and learning opportunities
- enable moments of awe and wonder
- embody a growth mindset
- support wellbeing
- prepare children for the next stage of their educational journey.
The Government’s statutory framework Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) is the core of our curriculum. The seven areas of learning detailed in the framework, and listed below, form the fundamentals of teaching and learning opportunities across the nursery. The seven areas of learning are categorised as follows:
3 Prime Areas:
- Communication and Language
- Physical Development
- Personal, Social and Emotional Development
The Prime Areas of learning lay the foundations for all children’s learning. They ensure children can relate to others, communicate effectively and engage with their environment. These areas are therefore a greater focus for children in the early stages of development.
4 Specific Areas:
- Understanding the World
- Expressive Arts and Design
The Specific Areas build on the development made through the Prime areas and provide important contexts for learning. The ‘Specific Areas’ are officially introduced into the curriculum from the age of 3, however all children at Clowns are given opportunities to develop in all 7 areas of learning and development throughout the nursery. This allows the children in our care to reach their highest potential, regardless of their age or stage of development.
Characteristics of Effective Learning
The Characteristics of Effective Learning (CoEL) are the ways in which the children engage with other people and their environment. The Characteristics of Effective Learning underpin all areas of learning and development. There are 3 main strands to the CoEL. These are:
- Playing and Exploring: Children are given opportunities to investigate and make sense of the world around them through structured play. They initiate their own activities and engage in those set for them by the practitioners. They are encouraged to take risks, seeking challenge in what they do.
- Active Learning: Children maintain focus, staying on task and persevering when they are facing challenges such as learning skills that require more than one attempt. They value the process of what they are doing, as well as taking pride in whatever they produce.
- Creating and Thinking Critically: Children are encouraged to have and develop their own ideas. They are supported to make decisions, link their thoughts and plans, develop their thinking (practically and/or verbally), make predictions and test out their ideas.
At Clowns our curriculum is enhanced through the specialist teaching of Drama, Music and P.E. Within these areas, the children are given rich opportunities to develop subject specific knowledge and skills on a regular basis.
Early Reading and Writing
We use Pie Corbett’s ‘Talk for Writing’ scheme as a framework for teaching storytelling and inspiring a love of reading. The scheme involves children imitating, innovating and inventing stories. By the time the children leave Clowns, they will have a rich bank of stories to draw upon. The stories also act as a meaningful context in which to teach new and ambitious vocabulary.
For Phonics, we follow the guidance and progression set out by Letters and Sounds, a DFE publication, and we use this alongside elements of Ruth Miskin’s Read, Write, Inc. scheme.
Our curriculum is enriched to support personal development through several initiatives. Our initiatives focus on supporting children’s wellbeing and teaching them the tools and skills required to support their emotional development, as they move through their educational journey.
At Clowns we are passionate about encompassing and celebrating ‘British Values’ within our learning environment. These values are democracy, rule of law, individual liberty and mutual respect and tolerance for all. These British values are woven into everyday practice throughout the nursery.
English as an Additional Language
At Clowns we celebrate the diversity of languages spoken within the setting, as well as the educational benefits of speaking multiple languages. We work in partnership with parents to ensure children’s needs, wants and interests are being met and we differentiate learning opportunities to ensure all children are able to access them.