At JWA, we provide a challenging and engaging Early Years (EY) curriculum that develops children physically, intellectually, emotionally and socially. The Early Years curriculum bases children’s learning on the standards set out in the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) Framework from the UK. Languages are an important aspect of learning at JWA and children are introduced to our core languages of English, Chinese Mandarin and Bahasa Indonesian.
Our curriculum not only acts as a transition between home and school but also starts children off with the learning habits necessary to access education at a later age. The curriculum underpins all future learning by supporting exploration and engagement, active learning, motivation, creativity and thinking critically. During their early years, children begin to make sense of their world through a broad and balanced learning environment.
The early years curriculum that concentrates on seven areas split between prime and specific areas of learning.
Communication and language development involves giving children opportunities to speak and listen in a range of situations and to develop their confidence and skills in expressing themselves.
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 read and write, both through listening to others reading, and being encouraged to begin to read and write themselves. Children must be given access to a wide range of reading materials – for example books, poems, and other materials to ignite their interest.
Mathematics development involves providing children with opportunities to practise and improve their skills in counting numbers, calculating simple addition and subtraction problems, and to describe shapes, spaces, and measures.
Understanding of 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 supporting 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.
Characteristics of Early Years effective learning:
- playing and exploring – engagement
- active learning – motivation
- creating and thinking critically
Key aspects of effective learning characteristics include children:
- being willing to have a go;
- being involved and concentrating;
- having their own ideas;
- choosing ways to do things;
- finding new ways; and
- enjoying achieving what they set out to do.
Accurate assessment of these characteristics depends on observing learning which children have initiated rather than only focusing on what they do when prompted. For children to develop learning characteristics to be assessed by the EYFS Profile, and to support lifelong learning, they require rich opportunities to initiate ideas and activities.
Early Years teaching is set in a child-centred environment, learning through play, discovery, direct instruction, from things and people, and by doing. The children learn in all seven areas of learning, delivered both as a stand-alone subject and/or integrated approach. All the areas are delivered through planned, purposeful play, with a balance of adult-led and child-initiated activities. Therefore, a high priority is given to the process of learning through practical, first-hand experiences. Frequent opportunities for children to record and develop early reading, writing and number skills in a creative and imaginative way, with effective adult support, are also an integral part of the Early Years curriculum.
Assessments are based primarily on observation of daily activities and events. Teachers note in particular the learning that a child demonstrates spontaneously, independently and consistently in a range of contexts and learning areas, linked to the Early Learning Goals (ELGs).