This Autumn Term 2017 we have used all seven areas of the Early Years Foundation Stage Curriculum. This update does not reflect one single week’s work but rather how we have taught each of the areas. Below I have set out some examples of our activities, based on the seven areas.
We are required to have British Values underpinning all of our teaching. To reflect this at an Early Years level is slightly harder than at school level because of children’s understanding. Below I have given examples of way we have linked British Values to the teaching.
The children have been looking at the Very Hungry Caterpillar and all activities and learning experiences have been based upon this topic.
Personal Social and Emotional
The children have talked about how they feel at different times of the day sharing with each other how they feel when they are hungry, tired, happy etc. So there has been lots of conversations at the snack table about how being hungry or tired makes them feel. The children have been able to vocalise emotions to a physical need, e.g. feeling sad when they are tired.
The children listened to others and have shared their thoughts with others, while respecting the thoughts of others as being as important as their own.
Communication and Language
The children have had lots of discussions to show their understanding of the Very Hungry Caterpillar book and have looked at language specifically related to the topic, for example egg, caterpillar chrysalis, and cocoon. They have been building upon vocabulary that reflects the breadth of their experiences. They listened to the story being told to them and they have read to each other and themselves.
They know that not everyone is the same as them and that is ok. They all have the right to speak and to be heard and if another person thinks something different, that is ok too.
They children have pretended to be butterflies, flying around the playground making sure that they did not run into other butterflies by negotiating space and adjusting speed or direction to avoid them. They have experimented in moving in ways they think a caterpillar would move, such as slithering, shuffling, crawling and sliding. They have also observed the effects of this activity on their bodies, and could describe how they felt.
The children have told adults when hungry or tired or when they want to play. They have used tools to enable them to make and colour the amazing things for our displays.
Not everyone has the same ability. The Children recognised that some people are different but just as important to society (or in this case playgroup) and how we must respect and value them as such.
The children not only read the Very Hungry Caterpillar but could re-tell it verbatim. They looked at factual books about the life cycles of other insects. They also looked at other Eric Carle books, The Very Busy Spider, The Very Quiet Cricket and The Bad Tempered Ladybird. These books have been available for the children to look at independently, with other children or with a grown-up.
Not all the children wanted to listen to the same books, so the children were asked to ‘vote’ for which story they wanted read first, second etc. The book with the most votes was read first and so on. They learnt that this was called a majority vote, which meant more people wanted story A than story B.
The Very Hungry Caterpillar lends its self well to number, the children counted how many different things the caterpillar ate, they matched the number to the quantity of food stuffs. They counted how many segments the caterpillar has and then drew some themselves. The children sequenced the story using pictures taken from the story.
Understanding the World
The children found a moth and this led to discussions about differences and similarities between moths and butterflies, using the setting’s tablets, they learnt that they are both from the same insect family and butterflies usually fly during the day while moths fly mainly at night. The children recognised some of the plants they had in their own gardens which butterflies liked.
The children learnt that respect should be shown to many things including people, property and living things, and cruelty to animals is against the rule of the land.
Expressive Arts and Design
The children have all had an input in making the displays in playgroup, from the large display in the main classroom to the smaller ones in and around playgroup. In doing so they have looked at how mixing colours changes them into different colours, they have used different techniques and tools to do this and have used them safely, competently and appropriately.
The children have also used their imaginations and thought what it must be like being both a Hungry Caterpillar and a beautiful butterfly.
As the children were making display work they thought and talked about what their aim was and how to achieve it, and in doing so they made decisions and as a group they kept to them.
We hope to give opportunities to learn and thrive through play and interaction, while enjoying their precious early years.
Please feel free to contact Bridget Cross firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions or comments.