Expressive Arts and Creative Development

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.

By the end of Early Years your child will develop their skills in:

  • 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.
  • Being imaginative: 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.

How can you help?

  • Painting, drawing, colouring just for fun. Do not expect your child to draw or paint anything recognisable at first. The fun is in the creation, not in the end product.
  • Allow your child to make models using construction items (duplo, stickle bricks etc), but also from old cereal and egg boxes.
  • Allow your child to play with empty boxes – these are often as much fun as the item that was inside them!
  • Allow your child to develop their imagination. An old sheet over a table or pegged up outside can make a brilliant den and will give hours of fun.
  • Save old saucepans, tins and allow your child to make music. Sing along to nursery rhymes and pop songs!
  • Develop your child’s imagination. Act out stories; take part in role play with them by playing shops, schools, teddy bear picnics. Try and collect a few dressing-up clothes, old t.shirts, skirts, shoes and scarves have many possibilities!
  • If you are anxious about your child spoiling their clothes dress them in old ones so they can really have lots of fun without being worried.

Understanding the World

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.

By the end of Early Years children will develop their understanding of:

  • 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.
  • The world: 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.
  • Technology: children recognise that a range of technology is used in places such as homes and schools. They select and use technology for particular purposes.

How can you help?

  • Get out and about in all weathers! Talk about what is happening in the world all around you. Notice traffic, street signs, changes in the seasons.
  • Compare old and new things with your child. Give them an awareness that ‘in the olden times’ people did not have washing machines, vacuum cleaners, televisions!
  • Give your child a sense of your family and relations.
  • Explain that life is very different for people in different parts of the world.  The weather is different, lifestyles are different, homes are different, not everyone has a meal to eat at the end of a day.
  • Develop in your child a respect for different cultures and religions. Explain that our world is a wonderful place to live because everyone has the right to follow their own beliefs and way of life.
  • Develop problem solving skills in your child. It is often quicker and easier to do things for them but your child will not grow into an independent person if they don’t learn to solve problems, try things out for themselves, make mistakes and learn to persevere.
  • If you have a computer, laptop, iPad allow your child to play appropriate games, but also allow them to operate simple equipment (hand mixers, electric toothbrushes, CD players) under your watchful eye.

Core Texts To Read to Your Child.

These are recommended boks for Early Years. You will find that the local libraries have most of these books, or swap with your friends.

Books marked with an R are good for rhyme Books marked with an * are particularly good for early readers

Five Minutes Peace Jill Murphy & all the other ‘Large’ family books

Whatever Next Jill Murphy

So Much! Jill Murphy

Peace at Last Jill Murphy

We’re Going on a Bear Hunt Helen Oxenbury

The Bear Under the Stairs Helen Cooper

Walking Through the Jungle Julie Lacome

Titch Pat Hutchins

You’ll Soon Grow into them Titch Pat Hutchins

Mei Ling’s Hiccups David Mills

Lullabyhullaballoo Mick Inkpen

The Blue Balloon Mick Inkpen

Kipper * Mick Inkpen

Kipper’s Toy Box * Mick Inkpen

Dinosaur Roar Henrietta and Paul Stickland

Bumper to Bumper Jakki Wood

Mr Gumpy’s Motor Car John Burningham

Mr Gumpy’s Outing John Burningham

The Very Hungry Caterpillar Eric Carle

The Very Busy Spider Eric Carle

The Pig in the Pond Martin Waddell

Farmer Duck Martin Waddell

Can’t you Sleep little Bear? Martin Waddell

Owl Babies Martin Waddell

Who Sank the Boat? Pamela Allen

Mr Archimedes Boat Pamela Allen

Lima’s Red Hot Chilli David Mills

Handa’s Surprise Eileen Browne

Handa’s Hen Eileen Browne

Elmer David McKee

Peepo Janet Ahlberg

Where the Wild Things Are Maurice Sendak

The Rainbow Fish Marcus Pfister

Goodnight Owl Pat Hutchins

Don’t Forget the Bacon Pat Hutchins

Oi! Get Off My Train John Burningham

Knock Knock, Who’s There? Sally Grindley

The Wheels on the Bus many versions

There was an old lady who swallowed a fly Pam Adams

Old MacDonald had a Farm Pam Adams

Rosie’s Walk Pat Hutchins

As Quick as a Cricket Audrey & Dan Wood

The Red Ripe Strawberry Audrey & Dan Wood

Once Upon a Time Nick Sharratt

You Choose Nick Sharratt

Dear Zoo Rod Campbell

It’s Mine Rod Campbell

Hairy McClary Lynley Dodd

Fish Go Woof Miranda Maxwell-Hyslop

Ahh Said Stork Gerald Rose

Not Me Said the Monkey Colin West

Pardon? Said the Giraffe Colin West

Hello Great Big Bull Frog Colin West

Have You Seen the Crocodile? Colin West

The Gruffalo Julia Donaldson & Axel Scheffler

Ketchup on my Cornflakes Nick Sharratt

A Dark, Dark Tale Ruth Brown

Nine Ducks Nine Sarah Hayes

Jasper’s Beanstalk* Mick Inkpen

Where’s Spot?* Eric Hill

Brown Bear, Brown Bear*

Bill Martin Jr & Eric Carle

Polar Bear, Polar Bear* Bill Martin Jr & Eric Carle

Mrs Wishy Washy* Joy Cowley

Cat on the Mat* Brian Wildsmith

How do I put it on?* Shigeo Watanabe

Ten in the Bed* Penny Dale

All Fall Down* Helen Oxenbury

Dig, Dig, Digging R Margaret Mayo & Alex Ayliffe

Each Peach Pear Plum R Janet Ahlberg

Mister Magnolia R Quentin Blake

Mr McGee Goes to Sea R Pamela Allen

The Train Ride R June Crebbin

My Cat Likes to Hide in Boxes R Eve Sutton

This is the Bear R Sarah Hayes & Helen Craig

Pass the Jam Jim R Kaye Umansky & Margaret Chamberlain

Harry and the Bucketful of Dinosaurs Ian Whybrow

My Mum and Dad make me Laugh Nick Sharratt

Shark in the Park Nick Sharratt

Also Traditional tales, Nursery Rhymes

Literacy: Reading and Writing

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.

In Early Years we will be working towards children developing their:

  • Reading skills: by the end of reception children will read and understand simple sentences. They will 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.
  • Writing: by the end of reception children will 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.

How can you help?

  • The most effective way to help a child to learn to read is simply to read aloud to them regularly and often.
  • The learning of nursery rhymes helps them to notice the sounds in words and the tunes help them to remember the words.
  • Read stories regularly to your child, they will want to hear their favourites over and over again and will soon know them off by heart, reprimanding you if you miss out parts or change the order!
  • The books that are best are books your children like! You will soon discover which they are!
  • Join your local library, it is free and a wonderful source of good quality literature!
  • Before they can learn to write children must learn to control a pencil and form the shapes they want, so don’t try to teach your child to write letters until they have had lots of drawing experience.
  • Free drawing enables them to explore shapes, gain confidence and develop the right muscles for writing. Your child will start by making marks that look like scribble. This is a very important first stage to develop good pencil grip and control. The children will enjoy working with a variety of implements – pencils, crayons, chalks, felt-tips, paints, etc. Show them how to hold a pencil correctly.
  • Show them how to hold a pencil correctly.
  • Gradually your child will start to draw shapes that look more like letters, often starting with the letters in their own name. If your child is showing an interest in writing letters use a capital letter for the start of their name and then lower case letters for the rest of their name.
  • Make sure your child sees you writing, so that they know writing has a purpose.
  • Get them to take a short shopping list to the shops with you and cross off the items as you put them in the basket.
  • Encourage your child to do their own emergent writing. They may start by writing initial and dominant sounds from the words; this is normal, praise all of their efforts and be very proud of your child
  • If your child is left-handed don’t do anything to alter this. It really doesn’t matter and it’s wrong to force a child to change.

Finally: Attend the phonics talk in the Autumn term, pheck out the Phonics blog and knock on Mrs. Quinn’s, or your class teachers door, with any questions or concerns.

Check out the core reading texts recommended for your child.

Mathematics Development

Mathematics development involves providing children with opportunities to expand and improve their skills in counting, understanding and using numbers, calculating simple addition and subtraction problems; and to describe shapes, spaces, and measures.

By the end of reception children will develop their understanding of:

  • Numbers: 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.

How can you help?

You can help your child gain mathematical experiences in numerous everyday situations.  All of the skills can be introduced using things in the home and in the environment outside. Bearing these points in mind, encourage as many of the following skills as possible:

  • Compare objects to see which is the longest, tallest, thickest, thinnest, heaviest, and lightest.
  • Describe where something is, using the appropriate words; under, above, behind, on, next to ….
  • Sort naturally when playing; all of the red bricks together, all of the duplo in the box, sorting socks into pairs.
  • Develop spatial awareness by playing with construction items, make a tall house for a giraffe.
  • Discover which shapes fit together well, which shapes stack well, how tall can you make your tower before it topples over?
  • Notice shapes in the environment when out and about.
  • Develop capacity skills in the bath, fill up different sized containers, are they full, empty, half full?
  • Develop weighing skills by baking with your child, lots of flour, same amounts of sugar and butter.
  • Make predictions about the timing of the day, e.g. knowing that you go to pre-school after breakfast, that we can go to the park after lunch.  How many sleeps until our outing on Saturday?
  • Children naturally look for patterns and order, notice the pattern in a brick wall, put all the pictures of cars together, make a necklace with red, blue, red, blue beads.
  • Let them help you at the shops, put 4 apples in the bag, get a large bag of sugar.
  • Sing and recite number songs and rhymes.
  • Count up to 10 – beyond if they are able – stairs to bed, number of bananas in the bunch, number of teddy bears for the tea party.
  • Add on or subtract in very natural situations, ‘you had 4 sweets and you have eaten 2, how many are left?’

 

Physical Development

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.

By the end of reception children will develop their:
Moving and handling skills: children 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 pencils for writing.

Health and self-care skills: children know the importance for good health of physical exercise, and a healthy diet, and talk about ways to keep healthy and safe. They manage their own basic hygiene and personal needs successfully, including dressing and going to the toilet independently.

How can you support your help?

  • All children need fresh air, exercise and a way of letting off steam! Try to provide opportunities for your child to run, jump, hop, roll, throw, hit, balance, lift, carry.
  • Visit playgrounds and make use of the apparatus regularly and watch them gain in confidence and control.
  • Try to walk to places, rather than always using the car or pushchair.
  • Develop their fine motor skills and hand control. There are many muscles that need to be developed before your child will be able to control a pencil effectively.
  • Provide opportunities to paint, colour, scribble as well as draw. Try to work inside at a table and outside in the garden. Chalking on the pavement and a bucket of water with a large brush can provide hours of fun!
  • Roll, cut, squash, play with dough and plasticine.
  • Thread beads, build with construction sets, dress dolls – all of these help to develop their hand control.
  • Buy a pair of round-ended scissors and let them cut and stick paper and pictures from catalogues.
  • Find ways of fixing together two boxes when making a model, glue, sellotape, masking tape?
  • Try to let your child experiment and discover for themselves and then make suggestions and assist them.
  • Allow your child to undress and then dress themselves. Teach them how to put on their coat and velcro shoes.
  • Allow your child to make their own sandwich, help you prepare the dinner, set the table.
  • Talk about healthy foods whilst at shopping.
  • Try to steer clear of foods with a high fat or calorie content as a treat (sweets, cakes, burgers). Instead opt for healthy fruits and snacks!

Communication & Language

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.

By the end of reception children will develop their communication skills:

Listening and attention: children listen attentively in a range of situations. They listen to stories, accurately anticipating key events and respond to what they hear with relevant comments, questions or actions. They give their attention to what others say and respond appropriately, while engaged in another activity.

Understanding: children follow instructions involving several ideas or actions. They answer ‘how’ and ‘why’ questions about their experiences and in response to stories or events.

Speaking: 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.

 

How can you support your child?

 

Talking to your child, sharing experiences, remembering together, listening to them and encouraging through genuine questions do more to prepare them for school than any other activity.

Children who come to school able to express their needs and willing to listen to others are much more likely to settle in quickly and absorb learning more readily.  Your child should learn to be a good listener, taking turns in a conversation, and not just a forceful talker.  We want them to be able to express themselves clearly and with confidence.

Join in with their imaginative play, ask questions, and get them to make decisions, have opinions.

The learning of nursery rhymes, songs and poems cannot be over emphasised and is an enjoyable and valuable activity.

The rhymes help them to notice the sounds in words and the tunes help them to remember the words.

The Early Years Curriculum

The curriculum within the Early Years Foundation Stage is planned around four main themes;

A Unique Child, Positive Relationships, Enabling Environments, Learning & Development.

Within this there are three prime areas of Learning and Development:

Communication and language This area of learning 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: This area of learning involves giving children opportunities 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 life.

Personal, social and emotional development: This area of learning 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.

In addition there are four specific areas

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 to share their thoughts, ideas and feelings through a variety of activities in art, music, movement, dance, role-play, and design and technology.

Personal, Social and Emotional development

This  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.

Self-confidence and self-awareness: By the end of reception children will develop their self confidence and self- awareness and grow in confidence 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.

Management of 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.

Ability to make 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 adults and other children.