There are seven areas of learning and development that shape a child’s early education and both Nursery and Reception children at Loxford follow these. All areas of learning and development are important and inter-connected. Three areas are particularly crucial for igniting children’s curiosity and enthusiasm for learning, and for building their capacity to learn, form relationships and thrive. The prime areas are:
Communication and Language; Physical Development; and Personal, Social and Emotional Development.
There are also four specific areas, through which the three prime areas are strengthened and applied. The specific areas are:
- Understanding the World; and
- Expressive Arts and Design.
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.
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.
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.
Literacy development 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.
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.
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.
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.
Tracking and Assessment
Children in both Nursery and Reception are assessed according to the Development Matters 2012 document. To view this document click here.
At the end of the Reception year children will be assessed to according to the Early Years Foundation Stage Profile. To view this document click here.
Under new government plans, national testing for Reception-aged children in England will be introduced from September 2016. The purpose of the ‘baseline check’ is to assess each child’s level of development at the beginning of their formal schooling in order to measure how they have progressed by age 11. At Loxford we have chosen to opt into the baseline assessments from September 2015 using the NFER tests. These will be carried out one-to-one with a Reception teacher and will focus on the very basics of learning such as counting, picture, letter and number recognition. Children will work through the activities (it takes around 30 minutes) while the teacher records the child’s progress on a digital device or in individual paper pupil booklets.