1 Early Years Foundation Stage How to support your child s learning at home
2 Communication and Language How to support the development of your child s communication and language skills at home: Listening and attention Model being a listener by listening to your child and taking account of what they sat in your responses to them If your child finds it difficult to listen and do at the same time, say their name first in order to get their attention before giving an instruction or asking a question Read and share lots of rhymes and songs so that your child becomes familiar with patterns in language Play games which involve listening for a signal, such as Simon Says or Ready, steady, go! Explain why it is important to stop and listen when others are speaking Understanding Speaking Give your child clear instructions and help them to deal with those involving more than one action, e.g. Put this game away please then you can wash your hands for lunch. Ask your child to think in advance about how he/she will accomplish a task. Talk through and sequence the stages together Use stories/books to focus your child s attention on predictions and explanations, e.g. why did the boat tip over? Support your child in developing the ability to express a wide range of feelings orally, and talk about their own experiences Encourage your child to have conversations with others and demonstrate the appropriate conventions such as turn taking, waiting until someone else has finished speaking, listening to others and using expressions such as please and thank you Model how to use language for negotiating, by saying May I?, Would it be all right if I..?, I think that... and Will you...? Encourage your child to develop narratives in their play, using words such as: first, last, next, before, after all, most, some, each, every etc. Value your child s contributions to conversations and use them to shape the direction of discussions
3 Physical Development Physical development involves providing opportunities for your child to be active, developing their coordination, control and movement. It is also important that your child is helped to understand the importance of physical activity, and to make healthy choices in relation to food. Moving and Handling Gross Motor Skills Gross motor skills refer to the movements of the large muscles of the body. Gross motor skills include: balance the ability to maintain equilibrium body awareness for improved posture and control crossing of the mid-line laterality awareness of the left and right sides of the body major muscle co ordination spatial orientation awareness of the body position in space. What can you do at home to support your child s Gross Motor Development? Play with a large ball. Encourage your child to kick the ball, using one foot and then the other. Then throw and catch it too Encourage your child to ride a bike, a push bike or pedal bike with or without side-wheels, according to your child s ability Play Simon says do this. Say those words and do an action that your child must copy To teach your child spatial relations. Ask them to stand in front of a chair, behind a chair, next to the chair, on top of the chair and crouch under the chair To develop their sense of laterality, let your child kneel on the floor, then instruct them to lift their hand, left their right leg etc. Tell your child that they must be your shadow and mimic all your actions as you walk about and perform simple actions. Learn action songs and perform the actions as you sing them. Ask your child to imitate the movement of different animals: creep like a snake, waddle like a duck, hop like a rabbit etc. Encourage your child to balance first on one leg, then on the other for as long as possible. Fine Motor skills These refer to the small, more accurate movements your child will need to develop in order to do a number of day to day tasks. Continuous practice of the types of activities below will support this development and lead to more accurate control. Tying shoe laces Zipping and unzipping Rehearsing letter formation, pencil manipulation Playing games that require precise hand and finger control Drawing, painting, and colouring working hard to keep within the lines. Manipulating buttons and snaps Putting small objects together Doing puzzles Making crafts Using scissors
4 Manipulating small objects such as coins Opening and closing objects Picking up and holding onto small objects Developing and maintaining an effective and proper pencil grip. Pinching objects between fingers Using locks and keys Being able to isolate finger movements (i.e. using one finger at a time, such as in playing the piano or typing) Turning things over or turning pages of a book Health and self care Acknowledge your child s efforts to manage their personal needs and to use and return resources appropriately Promote health awareness by talking with your child about exercise, its effect on their bodies and the positive contribution it can make to their health Discuss with your child why they get hot and encourage them to think about the effects of the environment, such as whether opening a window helps everyone to be cooler
5 Personal Social and Emotional Development How to support your child s Personal, Social and Emotional development at home: Encourage your child to dress and undress themselves independently. Support them in developing an effective approach to turn clothes the correct way. Model appropriate behaviour at the dinner table. How to use a knife, fork and spoon correctly. Support them to develop an effective cutting technique. Allowing your child time to practice putting on and doing up their coats and using buttons. Model how to put shoes on the correct feet. Model and explain the importance of personal hygiene. Play games with your child. Model the concept of turn taking. Allow them to experience the feeling of winning and losing and how to respond to both experiences effectively. Talk to them about your plans for the weekends/evenings. Allow time for them to discuss their likes/dislikes. Discuss and negotiate plans together, forming conclusions. Model the use of appropriate manners, Please and thank you. Support them to develop an awareness of self, by discussing and explaining your culture and beliefs. Encourage them to embrace other cultures, beliefs and disabilities allowing them to see that we are not all the same. Encourage your child to share and express their points of views. Model adding a reason to back up their ideas and feelings - i.e. the Why factor. Allow them to see that you may have a difference of opinion and how to work together to solve it.
6 Literacy How to support the development of your child s literacy skills at home: Writing Be a writing model and encourage your child to write alongside you. Create real opportunities for your child to write, e.g. shopping lists, letters. Have an exciting selection of writing materials readily available. Talk to your child about his/her writing and read it through together. Praise your child for trying. Leave messages for each other on the fridge using alphabet fridge magnets. Set up a writing wall in your home. Stick a large piece of paper on a wall or door and encourage the whole family to add jokes, poems, questions and pictures. If you are writing out words for copying or learning, make sure you use lower case letters and not CAPITALS. Only use capital letters at the start of names, places or at the start of a sentence. Reading (exploration of any text, not just your child s reading book) Have a look at the front cover of the book, what can you see? Does it give you any clues to what might happen in the story? Look at the first page and see whether the book was dedicated to anyone, who might that person be and why might the author have written for them? Encourage children to answer questions such as who is your favourite character and why? Can you think of a similar story? Can you retell the story in your own words? Remember to look at and talk about the pictures, you can even make up your own story using the pictures as your cue. Help your child to recognise any keywords, letters and sounds and remember to give lots of praise. Modelling why you are reading is also essential, i.e.: reading instructions to make things work or simply reading for pleasure will allow your child to see the purpose behind learning and needing to read.
7 Mathematics Activities that can be done at home to support your child s mathematical understanding: Sing number rhymes and songs, read number stories, play counting games. Recite the number names in order (forwards and backwards). Give opportunities to count e.g. number of stairs, people, knives and forks etc. Order number cards to 10. Fill and empty containers using the language full, empty, half-full, more, less, nearly full, nearly empty. Sort objects according to size, shape and quantity. cook. Let the children help in cooking e.g. weighing, measuring and timing how long something takes to Look at patterns in man-made structures, shapes and nature Use everyday words to describe position: over, under, above, below, beside, before, after, next to, opposite, between, middle, corner, top, bottom, front, back, side, behind, in front of, left, right, up, down, forward, backwards, across, along and around. Describe where objects are in a picture. Fit the jigsaw pieces together. Use coins to pay for things, adding together the value of two priced objects, work out much change from a given amount. How to support your child with the concept of Adding In foundation stage we develop the child s understanding of addition as the combining of 2 groups. We explore the different vocabulary associated with this such as adding, add, plus, more, equals and how many altogether? This learning is done through very practical activities, so the children can physically count out and move objects together to support the understanding of how many altogether. We will then develop this into a very simple number sentence, for example: + = 6 4 2
8 How to support your child with the concept of Subtracting In foundation stage we refer to this as taking away. The vocabulary associated with it is take away, subtraction, less, minus, and how many is left? Again everything is done very practically, so that children can physically remove an object(s) to support their understanding. Right from the beginning we discuss the fact that when subtracting the largest number needs to come first in the number sentence. For example: Count out aloud the largest number first, i.e. 5 Then remove the stated amount, i.e. 2 physically. Then count how many are left.
9 Understanding the World As a parent you may have already encountered the seemingly endless why questions. While sometimes these questions are a way of grabbing our attention, they are more often a sign that a child is thinking and noticing what is happening around them. Your child s curiosity about the immediate world is recognised in the Foundation Stage curriculum in a section entitled Understanding the World. Your child will be encouraged to observe, investigate, design and make things to help them to learn about their immediate world. The skills, knowledge and understanding that they gain from this area of learning will form the basis for later work in school in science, geography, history ICT and design and technology. Activities that you can do at home to develop your child s understanding of the world around him / her: Cooking Involving your child in this process can vast opportunities for discussions. Looking and talking about the changes that happen to food when they are heated, or simply looking at food when it comes out of the freezer, discussing how it has become a solid, and then what happens to it as it defrosts. All this can support your child s early understanding of science. Children also love to explore and feel the texture of objects, encouraging them to describe them and relate them to other experiences all support this early scientific discussion. Helping with the washing- Encourage your child to discuss how the clothes could be sorted, then providing details of how you would like them sorted. (We don t want a load of whites to pink!) Supporting them to explore the different textures on the clothes, what they feel like when they are wet/dry. Discussion on what would help them to dry, what would the best type of weather be and why? Family photos and special objects- Providing opportunities to talk about what has changed about themselves and family members. What they can do now that they couldn t do before. Why people look different on photos from the past. Gardening- Setting up a small gardening patch or helping with yours can provide a super start for discussions around changes in the environment. Creating little experiments regarding where is the best place to grow...why? What does a plant need to help it grow? How much water is needed? What has happened in a specific time period, what has changed? If nothing has changed why not? Where are the roots? What do they do? Out and About- Any trip out can provide a basis for discussion around what the child can see. Prose questions that will support them to discuss different aspects of the environment, i.e.: the changes in the seasons, why and what happens to the flowers, trees and plants, different shapes in buildings, road signs, changes in the landscapes. A trip to the swimming pool can change discussions around echoes, reflections and floating.
10 Expressive Arts and Design Expressive arts and design is seen as an essential part of a child s experience in their early years education, for many reasons. First, it helps children to express themselves in a variety of ways, for example through paint, music and dough modelling. It also allows children to grow in confidence as they set their own challenges and learn how to do things for themselves. How to support your child s creative development at home: Have a collection of paper, glue, paint and other bits and pieces that can be put out on the kitchen table so your child can make models and draw. You can also encourage your child s imaginative play by providing them with some and sheets to use for making a den. large boxes Music and rhymes. Young children have a good sense of rhythm and naturally enjoy dancing and singing. Plastic bottles filled with rice or pasta make excellent shakers, while the traditional saucepan lid and spoon, though painful on the ears, is always a smash hit!! feel. Listening to your favourite types of music and explaining why you like them and how they make you Join in with their play. A vast amount of modelling of different concepts can be dipped into play, for example, playing the shop keeper can support counting and money skills, as well as writing skills for shopping lists. Developing a vet can lead to discussions about animal care and problem solving activities such as, which pet carrier will be big enough for the animals? Allow your child s imagination to take them anywhere; don t be afraid to take on new personas! Allow your child to see you joining in with the creative process, model to them your choices for using particular pieces of material and equipment. Discuss why you have joined them together in that way. Allow them to hear aspects of your model/game that you are not happy with and how you are going to change them. Allow them to see and join in with the reflecting and modifying process. It doesn t have to be right first time. Most importantly have fun, letting your child see your creative side will spur them on.