The curriculum provided by Abacus Pre-school

Children start to learn about the world around them from the moment they are born. The care and education offered by Abacus Pre-school helps children to continue to do this by providing all of the children with interesting activities that are right for their age, stage of development and focusing on their interests.

For children between the ages of 2 and 5 years, the pre-school provides a curriculum for the foundation stage of education. This curriculum is set out in a document, published by the Qualifications and Curriculum Authority and the Department for Children, Schools and Families, and called The Practice Guidance for the Early Years Foundation Stage. Pre- school follows this guidance.

The guidance divides children's learning and development into seven areas:

  • Personal, social and emotional development;
  • Communication and language
  • Literacy
  • Mathematics
  • Understanding of the world;
  • Physical development; and
  • Expressive arts and design.

We offer the children the opportunity to freely play between the indoor and outdoor environments and ensure both areas are well equipped to cover the seven areas of learning.

The guidance sets out learning and development for each of the seven areas. These learning and development areas state what it is expected that children will know and be able to do by the end of the reception year of their education.

For each area, the document sets out guidance, which describe the stages through which children are likely to progress as they develop, supporting practitioners to observe, plan and monitor their achievements. Pre-school uses the Early Years document to help us to monitor each child's progress and to enable us to provide the right activities to help all of the children move towards achievement of their learning and development.

Some of the key things we help children achieve are listed below;

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Personal, social and emotional development

  • Having a positive approach to learning and finding out about the world around them;
  • Having confidence in themselves and their ability to do things, and valuing their own achievements;
  • Being able to get on, work and make friendships with other people, both children and adults;
  • Becoming aware of - and being able to keep to - the rules which we all need to help us to look after ourselves, other people and our environment;
  • Being able to expect to have their ways of doing things respected and to respect other people's ways of doing things.
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Communication language

This area of children's development covers:

  • Being able to use conversation with one other person, in small groups and in large groups to talk with and listen to others;
  • Adding to their vocabulary by learning the meaning of - and being able to use - new words;
  • Being able to use words to describe their experiences;
  • Getting to know the sounds and letters which make up the words we use;
  • Listening to - and talking about - stories;
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  • Knowing how to handle books and that they can be a source of stories and information;
  • Knowing the purposes for which we use writing; and
  • Giving meaning to the marks that they make as they paint and draw.
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Physical development

This area of children's development covers:

  • Gaining control over the large movements which we can make with our arms, legs and bodies, so that they can run, jump, hop, skip, roll, climb, balance and lift;
  • Gaining control over the small movements we can make with our arms, wrists and hands, so that they can pick up and use objects, tools and materials; and
  • Learning about the importance of - and how to look after - their bodies.
  • Being able to dress and undress themselves, and look after their personal hygiene needs
  • Gaining good pencil control and writing some of the letters from their name.
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Expressive arts and design development

This area of children's development covers:

  • Using paint, materials, music, dance, words, stories and role-play to express their ideas and feelings; and
  • Becoming interested in the way that paint, materials, music, dance, words, stories and role-play can be used to express ideas and feelings.
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This area of children's development covers:

  • Building up ideas about how many, how much, how far and how big;
  • Building up ideas about patterns, the shape of objects and parts of objects, and the amount of space taken up by objects;
  • Starting to understand that numbers help us to answer questions about how many, how much, how far and how big;
  • Building up ideas about how to use counting to find out how many; and
  • Being introduced to finding the result of adding more or taking away from the amount we already have
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Understanding of the world

This area of children's development covers:

  • Finding out about the made world and how it works;
  • Learning how to choose - and use - the right tool for a task;
  • Learning about computers, how to use them and what they can help us to do;
  • Starting to put together ideas about past and present and the links between them;
  • Beginning to learn about their locality and its special features; and
  • Learning about their own and other cultures.
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3 areas of effective teaching and learning

Abacus staff are aware of the different ways in which children learn and reflect these in our planning of activities;

Playing and exploring – Children investigate and experience things, and ‘have a go’;

Active learning – Children concentrate and keep on trying if they encounter difficulties, and enjoy achievements;

Creating and thinking critically - Children have and develop their own ideas, make links between ideas and develop strategies for doing things.

Play helps young children to learn and develop through doing and talking, which research has shown to be the means by which young children think. Abacus Pre-school uses the Early Years document to plan and provide a range of play activities, which help children to make progress in each of the areas of learning and development. In some of these activities children decide how they will use the activity and, in others, an adult takes the lead in helping the children to take part in the activity. In all activities information from the Early Years document has been used to decide what equipment to provide and how to provide it.

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Working together for your children

Pre-school has the recommended ratio of adults to children in the setting. This helps us to:

  • Give time and attention to each child;
  • Talk with the children about their interests and activities;
  • Help children to experience and benefit from the activities we provide; and
  • Allow the children to explore and be adventurous in a safe environment.
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