Understanding the world is a Specific Area in the Early Years Foundation Stage Curriculum. Within this there are three elements: The world, People and communities and Technology.
The Sue Hedley Nursery School practises the HighScope Philosophy across all areas of learning incorporating the Birth to 5 Matters, this is how it looks within Understanding the World.
Our Nursery has an additional outdoor space of Forest School which children visit weekly and is coordinated by a HighScope and Forest School Leader. This means that as well as the expertise of our Forest School leader Highscope is woven through our daily routine and how knowledge is explored, investigated and taught. The activities offered are child centred and derived from the children’s interests and incorporated within weekly planning as well as in the moment planning. The children are active participants in their own learning, children gain knowledge and skills by playing in an intentional learning environment. In the outdoor environment, children have many opportunities for hands-on, active learning: nature provides them with many manipulatives, choices of ways to move their bodies, and opportunities to be seen and heard in ways that walls can restrict. Outdoor learning provides amazing platforms for HighScope’s emergent curriculum and planning based on children’s interests and what’s happening in nature.
In the Nursery the sequence of Understanding the World children build on their experiences; the wider and deeper their exposure, the greater potential they have for secure development. Children need opportunities to practise what they know, to consolidate and apply learning from one context to another, and to develop new knowledge and skills. Children will build on experiences in the natural, built and virtual worlds. This means children have hands-on experiences to gain that deeper understanding and knowledge, ask questions, notice the effects of their actions, for example you can’t cut into an apple printed on a piece of paper, but cutting it as a real-life activity it becomes much more of multi-sensory and investigate experience.
Development and learning are enhanced when there are connections and relationships between early childhood settings, home and other places and spaces in children’s lives. Connections across environments support children to bring their interests that may provide an anchor for them and a motivation for their learning. Children and families need to feel secure, accepted and that they belong – both within and beyond a setting. In the Nursery diversity of communities are respected and celebrated, which widens each child’s sense of belonging and sense of place in the community, while the uniqueness of each family, regardless of differences, is acknowledged and honoured. As the Nursery uses the HighScope philosophy we work in partnership with parents and other family members to promote children’s learning. We provide information about the curriculum and early learning, invite family members to participate in classroom activities and Stay and Play’s, discuss children’s progress, and share ideas for extending classroom learning in the home. As a result, parents have a better understanding of how their children are developing and learning.