It is crucially important that an early learning curriculum is responsive to the changing needs of children so that opportunities for growth and development are not missed.
On the 1st June we reopened our outstanding nursery and were extremely happy to be back in our natural environment so we can maximise on the face-to-face interactions with the children. We supported our children during the closure period through our online learning that involved a weekly pack of activities supported by recorded and live teaching sessions. It was great seeing our children make progress through these methods. Following our reopening, we implemented a “blended learning approach” where both remote and on-premises learning takes place. However, the physical environment itself and our processes had to change to accommodate the highest standards of infection control and risk assessment.
We were so happy to return to our home as a nursery school last Monday, 1st of June. During the weeks of lockdown due to Covid-19 we found many innovative ways of staying connected with our children and their families, and continuing their learning journeys remotely. Unfortunately it has not been possible for all of our children to come back to the classroom in our Hadley Wood site in this half-term. We saw this as a challenge to overcome, so we have opted for a “blended learning” model, which allows us to expand on and complement our nursery-based offering with a remote learning curriculum.
At the core of our mission is empowering children to become confident learners. But how can this happen during a widespread lockdown, like the one we have been experiencing due to the Covid-19 pandemic? As a team of outstanding early years educationalists, we quickly recognised that we had our work cut out for us and that it would not – could not – be “business as usual”. And although the way we deliver our educational approach to our families and children had to change, we still had to focus on the continuity of our children’s learning experiences. This is how we did this, and why.
The older a child gets the harder it is to get them to engage with and truly appreciate mathematics and the powerful reasoning behind it. Therefore, introducing maths at an early age is of crucial importance: not only does it help them understand how to deal with abstract symbols, like numbers, but more importantly it helps them develop problem solving and reasoning skills.
Children need to be given an opportunity to practice their skills with numbers, linking them to concrete quantities, which are out there in the physical world, their sensory world. Knowledge of shapes and patterns also improves their competence and confidence in using mathematical concepts and language.
However, shapes, space, and measures is a key area that the Government is considering to remove from the Early Years curriculum from next year. As an outstanding nursery school, we place a lot of value on this area and we will certainly continue teaching and developing it. In this post, we summarise some of the things you can do at home to support your child’s learning in this area, which is so beneficial to children.