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Q.1. Identify each of the three prime areas and four specific areas of learning?
The Early year’s foundation Stage areas of learning and development have been produced by the government and early year’s professionals for use by all early years’ providers including child minders. It is important for practitioners to become familiar with how the areas of learning and development are arranged in the framework. We need to use the areas of learning and development when we are observing, assessing and planning for your child’s individual needs. These areas make sure that we are constantly challenging the child and helping them to develop and succeed.
There are seven areas of learning and they are split into 2 parts:
The 3 prime areas, which are for all children and will always, be the main focus of the planning and activities for babies and children under 3.
The 4 specific areas, they are for all the older children (over 3s) but are also relevant for younger children.
These are the 3 prime areas:
Personal, social and emotional development (PSED)
PSED involves supporting children in developing and sustaining important relationships. It supports children in expressing and managing their feeling and behaviour and encourages them to develop a sense of self-esteem and confidence. It also covers how children make friends and shared and takes turns.
Physical development involves encouraging children to be active in their play and learning. This area is about how children move and uses gross motor skills, develop fine motor skills, learn about healthy living and manage self-care independently.
Communication and Language:
This area involves children developing the skills required to become an effective speaker and listener. It involves children to listen and pay attention, understand what is being said and communication with others.
Accurate identification of the 3 prime areas of learning and a good overview of what each area involves.
These are the four specific areas:
This area of learning and development is about how children enjoy reading book, likes to make marks, learn to write and stars to explore phonics and letter sounds.
This area involves how children learn about numbers and counting, recognising the passing of time and explores measures, capacity, space, shapes, opposites etc. during play.
Understanding the world:
This area learning and development is about how children find out about nature and the world around them, talk about people and their local community and learns about similarities and differences and learns to confidently use ICT equipment.
Art and design:
This area of learning and development is about how children enjoy being creative, sings and dances and makes music, plays imaginatively and uses express themselves.
www.bridgewater.herts.sch.uk (NEW EYFS Summary 2012.pdf)
Q.2. Explain how planning can be devised to promote the individual needs of children?
All children develop at their own rate and in their own time this should be remembered when planning activities. Children develop quickly in early years and as early years practitioners we need to do all that we can do to help children have the best possible start in life.
Children are born ready, able and eager to learn. They actively reach out to interact with other people and in the world around them. Development is not and automatic process, however it depends on each unique child having opportunities to interact in positive relationships and enabling environments.
Early years’ experience should build on what children already know and can do, no child should be excluded or disadvantage because of ethnicity, culture or religion home language, family background, special education needs disability or ability. To be effective an early year’s curriculum should be carefully structured.
In that structure there should be three strands.
Provision for the different starting points from which children develop their learning, building on what they can already do.
Relevant and appropriate content that matches the different level of young children needs.
Planned and purposeful activity that provides opportunities of teaching and learning, both indoors and outdoors.
There should be opportunities for children to engage, in activities which are planned by adults and also those that they plan or initiate themselves. Good point. As a practitioner we must be able to observe and respond appropriately to children, in found by knowledge of how children develop and learn a clear understanding of possible next steps in their development and learning.
Activities need to be planned properly; it should engage children in the learning process and help them make progress in their learning. Children to have rich and simulating experience, the learning environment should be well planned and well organised. It provides the structure for teaching within which children explore experiment, plan and make decisions for them thus enabling them to learn, develop and make good progress.
As practitioner we need to understand and observe each child’s development and learning progress. For example in response of a child’s experience of breaking an arm and bringing in her x-ray, and children showing interest in the child’s plaster cast. Practitioners can set up a hospital in the nursery setting. They can add reception area with telephone, children can take a role of receptionist answering calls and making appointments. Children can dress up as doctors, nurses and patients. Practitioners can show children how to use bandages. Although children join and leave the play, many sustain their attention for a long time. Some play a number of roles and perform many actions, while some repeat and practise the experiences important to them. A good example.
The practitioners should make sure that the children spend their time in worthwhile and challenging activities. Throughout the session there is a supportive routine with a mix of group and individual activities together with opportunities for children to make choices about activities. This provides the security which promotes confidence and the challenge which promotes learning.
Q.3. Describe how practitioner can support children’s learning and development in each area of learning?
There are three prim areas of learning. 1. Physical Development
2. Communication and language development 3.Personal, social and emotional development.
These prime areas begin to develop from a base of secure, loving relationship and positive. The area of physical development is divided into two aspects.
Moving and handling:
Moving and handling looks at children’s development of gross and fine motor skills. Children can show good control and co-ordination in large and small movements. They move confidently in a range of ways, safely negotiating space. They handle equipment and tools effectively, including pencil for writing.
From birth, babies begin their development and will first learn to turn their heads towards sounds or bright lights. Development is rapid in the early years and babies will learn to hold their head up, move their arms and legs, roll over and gain control of their bodies to sit up. Major developmental milestones are achieved within this aspect, such as crawling, walking, running, jumping and climbing.
Health and self-care:
In health and self-care development children needs to know the importance for good health of physical exercise, and a healthy diet, and talk about ways to keep healthy and safe. Babies express discomfort when they are hungry or thirsty through crying to ensure their needs are met. Babies will often show excitement in anticipation for their feed. As babies are weaned onto solid food, they will begin to open their mouth for a spoon and as they become older will show an interest in feeding themselves using a spoon and their fingers. Children will be willing to try new and different food textures and tastes, but will begin to form likes and dislikes with their food.
Children need to manage their own basic hygiene and personal needs successfully, including dressing and going to the toilet independently.
The area of communication and language is divided into three aspects:
Listening and attention
This looks at children’s development of listening skills. Children listen attentively in range of situations. From birth, children will begin to tune in to the sounds around them, turning to look for where the sound has come from and recognising their main carer’s voice. These skills of listening develop and refine as a child becomes older − they will be able to differentiate between voices and will begin to understand the meaning of words. As children come to the end of early years their listening and attention skills will be more mature. They listen to stories, accurately anticipating key events and respond to what they hear with relevant comments, questions or actions. Children give their attention to what others say and respond appropriately, while engaged in another activity.
In this area we look at how children learn to understand the principles of language and communication. Children follow instructions involving several ideas or actions. They answer ‘how’ and ‘why’ questions about their experiences and in response to stories or events. They continue their development by gaining understanding of the meanings of single words such as ‘mummy’, ‘daddy’, ‘no’. The complexity of the words and sentences a child understands and can respond to increases as a child grows older.
Speaking looks at how children actually use language. It includes children's verbal and non-verbal communication. Children express themselves effectively, showing awareness of listeners’ needs. They use past, present and future forms accurately when talking about events that have happened or are to happen in the future. They develop their own narratives and explanations by connecting ideas or events.
The area of personal, social, emotional development is divided in three aspects:
This looks at the way in which babies and young people develop relationships. Children play co-operatively, taking turns with others. They take account of one another’s ideas about how to organise their activity.They show sensitivity to others’ needs and feelings, and form positive relationships with adultsand other children.
Self confidance and self awarancess
Children are confident to try new activities, and say why they like some activities more than others. They are confident to speak in a familiar group, will talk about their ideas, and will choose the resources they need for their chosen activities. They say when they do or don’t need help. Children will develop confidence to express their feelings and opinions and will be able to select their own activities that interest them.
Managing feelings and behaviour:
Children talk about how they and others show feelings, talk about their own and others’ behaviour, and its consequences, and know that some behaviour is unacceptable.They work as part of a group or class, and understand and follow the rules.They adjust their behaviour to different situations, and take changes of routine in their stride.
The four specific areas:
1. Literacy 2. Maths 3. Understanding the world 4. Expressive arts and design
The area of literacy is divided into two aspects:
Children read and understand simple sentences. They use phonic knowledge to decode regular words and read them aloud accurately. They also read some common irregular words. They demonstrate understanding when talking with others about what they have read.
Children use their phonic knowledge to write words in ways which match their spoken sounds. They also write some irregular common words. They write simple sentences which can be read by themselves and others. Some words are spelt correctly and others are phonetically plausible.
The area of maths is divided into two aspects:
Children count reliably with numbers from 1 to 20, place them in order and say which number is one more or one less than a given number. Using quantities and objects, they add and subtract two single-digit numbers and count on or back to find the answer. They solve problems, including doubling, halving and sharing.
Shape, space and measures:
Children use everyday language to talk about size, weight, capacity, position, distance, time and money to compare quantities and objects and to solve problems. They recognise, create and describe patterns. They explore characteristics of everyday objects and shapes and use mathematical language to describe them.
Expressive art and design:
The area of art and design is divided into two aspects:
Exploring and using media and materials:
Children sing songs, make music and dance, and experiment with ways of changing them. They safely use and explore a variety of materials, tools and techniques, experimenting with colour, design, texture, form and function.
Children use what they have learnt about media and materials in original ways, thinking about uses and purposes. They represent their own ideas, thoughts and feelings through design and technology, art, music, dance, role-play and stories.
Understanding the world:
This area has three areas of aspects:
People and communities:
Children talk about past and present events in their own lives and in the lives of family members. They know that other children don’t always enjoy the same things, and are sensitive to this. They know about similarities and differences between themselves and others, and among families, communities and traditions.
Children know about similarities and differences in relation to places, objects, materials and living things. They talk about the features of their own immediate environment and how environments might vary from one another. They make observations of animals and plants and explain why some things occur, and talk about changes.
Children recognise that a range of technology is used in places such as homes and schools. They select and use technology for particular purposes.
Q. 4. Evaluate how the effective characteristics of learning can promote children’s learning and development.
The Unique Child reaches out to relate to people and things through the Characteristics of Effective Learning, which move through all areas of learning.
-playing and exploring
(Finding out and exploring) (Playing with what they know) (Being willing to have a go)
(Being involved and concentrating) (Keeping on trying) (Enjoying achieving what they set out to do)
-creating and thinking critically
(Having their own ideas) (Making links) (Choosing ways to do things and finding new ways)
Playing and exploring
Play and exploration are key ways that children to learn. As Vygotsky, the famous Russian psychologist whose work has been so important to our understanding of child development, stated: in play the child operates at their highest level ‘beyond his average age, above his daily behaviour; in play it is as though he were a head taller than himself’ (Vygotsky, 1978: 102).
Finding out and exploring:
Exploratory play is important to all of us. It is how babies begin to understand their surroundings and the relationships between themselves and others, using all their senses and every part of the body. Gopnik e al. (1999) describe babies and toddlers as young scientists, testing out and often repeating the same actions time and again to establish an idea about the object in question and what their own actions can do. Their explorations continue as they grow and develop.
Playing with what they know:
From the beginning as they play and explore, babies and young children build a repertoire of knowledge, skills and understanding, using memory, and they are also able to imagine possibilities.
Being willing to have a go:
Through play, children will develop their self-confidence and will enjoy challenge and risk. They will have a positive attitude and will be more likely to try out new experiences and activities without fear of failure. ‘There is no activity children are better prepared for than fantasy play. Nothing is more dependable and risk-free, and the dangers are only pretend’ (Paley, 2004: 8).
The second characteristic of learning is not about being physically active, which of course is important in children’s learning and development, but refers to being mentally active and alert.
Being involved and concentrating:
When a child is deeply involved she/he cannot easily be distracted. The importance of play and
exploration cannot be underestimated as it is when children make their own choices, follow their natural curiosity and own train of thought that deep involvement is most likely to happen.
Keeping on trying:
Through trying out new experiences and activities, children will experience and disappointment. This aspect looks at how children persist in challenging activities and tries out alternative methods when difficulties occur. This process promotes problem-solving skills in children and will support the development of self-confidence. ‘As soon as children become able to evaluate themselves, some of them are afraid of challenges. They become afraid of not being smart’ (Dweck, 2008: 16)
Enjoying achieving what they set out to do:
Succeeding at their activities and achieving new skills will give children a feeling of satisfaction and pride in their own abilities. Children will be proud of the process they have followed in order to achieve the task and will be more likely to try out further activities to achieve that same sense of satisfaction.
Creating and thinking critically:
When children have opportunities to play with ideas in different situations and with a variety of resources, they discover connections and come to new and better under-standings and ways of doing things. Adult support in this process enhances their ability to think critically and ask questions. (EYFS card 4.3, 2008)
Having their own ideas:
Enabling children to think critically and creatively means encouraging them to play and investigate, providing a rich environment with interesting things to discover, explore and wonder about and, crucially, time to do so.
Once a child has discovered their own ideas and methods, they will be excited to try them out. Practitioners can support this through engaging in sustained shared thinking with the child to help them to further explore their ideas.
Choosing ways to do things:
This aspect of the Characteristics of Learning involves the child in making choices as to how to go about something and is not about following instructions. When children are involved in their own self-chosen activities they are more likely to want to find the right strategy to achieve their goal.
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