What do children learn in the Early Years?
The Early Learning Goals (ELGs) are the goals or targets children are expected to achieve at the end of their Reception year. They will be working towards these goals as soon as they start in nursery and right through until they move into KS1.
The ELGs are broken down into either Prime Area or Specific Area of learning. Both areas are of equal importance and it is crucial that children meet the ELGs in all areas to enable them to become well rounded individuals.
To help staff assess the children they use a document called Development Matters that breaks the ELGs into different stages; birth to three year old, three and four year olds, children in reception and finally ELGs. For more information on development matters please follow this link;
Our Long Term plan sets out the topics that we will cover in Early Years this year:
Long term plan 2020-21
There is further information here for parents whose child is about to start in Reception:
Reception Ready - How to Prepare Your Child
Reception Parent Feedback
Reception New Parent FAQs
Here are some ideas/games to help support your child while they are in Early Years (Nursery and Reception).
Personal, Social and Emotional Development
Try playing some simple board or card games together or try working together to build a jigsaw puzzle.
Encourage your child to talk about their friends and arrange opportunities to invite friends round for tea or meet up at a park for the children to play together.
Encourage children to talk about their likes and dislikes in terms of activities they like and do not like to do.
Encourage them to explain their thoughts and feelings.
Encourage children to be independent but to ask for help when needed.
Discuss different feelings – try acting out different emotions for children to identify.
Discuss plans and routines and encourage children to talk about their daily activities.
Communication and Language
Initiate conversations with your child, ask questions and demonstrate how to be a good listener.
Share rhymes, songs, books and stories. Talk about what is happening in the stories or rhymes.
When sharing stories together, talk about the story and the characters. Ask your child to explain events in stories.
Model correct sentence structure and words – instead of over correcting your child, repeat words or sentences, e.g. if your child says “buyed an apple” say “Yes, you bought an apple.”
Talk about your children’s interests and encourage them to learn and use new vocabulary.
As a family, try some different active activities. You could try; dancing, playing football, going for walks, riding a bike or going swimming.
Encourage your child to use a knife and fork correctly.
Encourage your child to get dressed/ undressed independently and manage their own personal hygiene (such as washing their hands and brushing their teeth).
Encourage your child to talk about healthy food choices. Go shopping with your child and talk about healthy foods and why a balanced diet is important.
Share pleasure in reading with your child. Share books together.Encourage your child to look at a range of different books such as, stories, poems, information books and comics. Talk about favourite stories and characters.
Practise identifying letter sounds (phonics). Look for letters you see when you visit different places and demonstrate reading the words.
Make word and letter sound cards for sounds or words your child finds tricky. Try saying them in funny voices to help practising them more fun!
Encourage your child to explore writing using different materials such as pencils, chalk, crayons and pens. They could try writing letters into a tray of sand or flour using a finger or try painting letters onto a pavement using a paintbrush and water.
Demonstrate different purposes for writing such as writing a shopping list, or writing a birthday card. Encourage children to try writing for different purposes too and praise them for their efforts.
Look for numbers when you visit different places. Talk about house numbers, car number plates, prices of goods in the supermarket, etc. Challenge children to identify the numbers and say which number is one more or one less than the ones they see.
Play dice games with your child such as snakes and ladders.
Talk about simple addition and subtraction in practical ways. Use toys or other items to demonstrate addition by counting on and subtraction by counting back.
Look for 2D and 3D shapes around the house or when out and about and ask your child to describe them. Encourage the use of correct terms such as ‘sides’ and ‘corners’. Build models or pictures using empty packaging or paper shapes and talk about the shapes used.
Compare size, weight and capacity. Get your child using words like ‘longer’, ‘shorter’, ‘taller’, ‘heavier’, ‘lighter’, ‘full’ and ‘empty’. Talk about things you see in the world around you, or create opportunities for comparison, perhaps by rolling playdough snakes (‘Can you make a longer/ shorter one?’) or pouring water into different cups during bath time.
Understanding the World
Talk about special events in your family, such as holidays, weddings, birthdays and celebrations.
Take a trip to a park and look at the plants, insects and animals.
Explore different weather conditions and talk about seasonal changes in the world around you.
Go on a technology treasure hunt at home! Talk to your child about how we make these things work and how to use them safely.
Look at different types of technology when you’re out and about. They could explore using a camera to take photos on days out too.
Expressive Arts and Design
Try some different creative activities using a variety of different materials such as; making musical instrument models using empty packaging, collage activities to make pictures using wool or coloured paper and mix colours of paint to paint pictures.
Encourage children to sing their favourite songs and listen to music.
Try using some toys or make some puppets and create your own story.
Try setting up a pretend shop, restaurant, hairdressers salon, workshop or classroom. Role play as customers and shopkeepers, etc. and create stories and scenes together.