Pre-school age children who attend nurseries, pre-schools or other forms of recognised childcare services will be being looked after under the Foundation Stage of early learning. As part of this, there’s a number of early learning goals that providers are striving to meet. Here we explore what these goals are.
In order to help children through the Foundation Stage of learning, the government introduced a number of early learning goals that children aged three to five aim to meet. The goals aren’t designed to be a formal curriculum with different subjects, as affects children who are older and are studying subjects as part of the National Curriculum. Instead, the goals are made up of six broad areas of learning:
- Personal, social and emotional development.
- Communication, language and literacy.
- Mathematical development.
- Physical development.
- Creative development.
- Knowledge and understanding of the world.
Together, these learning goals provide children with a good foundation for their early childhood education, enabling them to become more confident and able and ready to learn much more as the years go by.
Personal, Social And Emotional Development
With personal, social and emotional development, children at nurseries, playgroups, pre-schools, reception classes and other forms of early learning environments will learn about their own personal and emotional issues and how to get on socially with others.
For example, they will learn to know what their own needs are, how to take an interest in things and learn to have more self-confidence in their own abilities. They’ll be taught about the difference between right and wrong, such as where behaviour is concerned, and how to dress and undress themselves properly.
Communication, Language And Literacy
With the communication, language and literacy goals, the emphasis will be on helping children to learn to read and write basic words and make their first steps towards learning to write and hold a writing instrument, such as crayon or pencil. They’ll be involved in listing to stories, singing songs, reading poems and hearing and saying different word sounds. This will help improve their own literacy skills and enable them to feel more confident when they speak and read.
With mathematical development, stories, games, imaginative play and songs will be used to help children develop an understanding of basic mathematical ideas and concepts. They’ll be taught basic ideas, such as weight and knowing when things are heavier or lighter than other objects, and height, plus improve their awareness of numbers, counting, shapes and space.
Where physical development is concerned, early learning environments will help children to become more physically able. They’ll be fun activities which help children’s ability to control and use their body well and also to use equipment which helps their physical development, like climbing frames, balls or slides.
Creative development is also an important learning goal and classes will help children to explore their own creative ability. For example, they’ll be involvement in songs, telling stories, making music, dancing and various arts and crafts activities, where they’ll have a go at painting, making things and exploring shapes and colours.
Knowledge And Understanding Of The World
Children will be helped and encouraged to explore the world around them. This covers areas such as people’s beliefs and different cultures and different types of technology and how it’s used. It encourages children to ask questions about the world, why things happen and how things work. Plus, it covers learning about past events in their own and their families lives.