Understanding of the World
This is a very broad section of the curriculum that aims to build children’s awareness of the constantly changing world in which they live. It is divided into five main areas.
The first area of Design and Technology is concerned with the made world, how it works and how we can influence this world. Children will have opportunities to construct models using boxes, Lego and large bricks, explore materials e.g. sand and playdough and use calculators and tape players. These activities will be planned for both indoors and outdoors.
The second area, Information Communication Technology, involves computers and programmable machines. We have access to the Internet but this is restricted to avoid access to certain websites. Many children will already be familiar with video players and remote controlled televisions. We aim to build upon these informal experiences with well-planned experiences and a variety of resources. Children will be able to work on the computer and understand how to make it respond meaningfully. We encourage children to work with others and cooperate in decision-making and share expertise.
History is the third area and this is largely concerned with people. Obviously the starting point for young children is to think about themselves and their immediate family and friends. They will be encouraged to think about their own past and to talk about the future.
As the QCA document “The Early Years Foundation Stage” states children at nursery school should “begin to know about their own cultures and beliefs and those of other people”. This is reflected in all aspects of our daily work and resources
The fourth area is Geography and this focuses upon people and places. Children are encouraged to think about their immediate world and the lives of others. Children are expected to take some responsibility for caring for their environment e.g. not dropping litter.
The final area is Science and here we provide children with the opportunities to explore the natural and made world around them. We carry out investigations using magnets, ice and magnifiers. Children are encouraged to make predictions and influence outcomes. We grow seeds and plants and look carefully at life cycles and change.