Introduction Children develop quickly in their early years and a childâ€™s development between birth and age five is a crucial foundation for all that follows. At The British College of Brazil (BCB) we believe that a secure, safe and happy environment is of paramount importance in these early stages of development. And it is within a caring and nurturing environment that children will feel at ease and most receptive to learning. BCB provides our youngest pupils in Early Years with an educational experience that will help them develop a positive approach to learning. Our class sizes are limited to 12 in Pre-Nursery and around 15 in Nursery, depending on whether there are one or two Teaching Assistants, allowing us to focus on the well-being of the children while at the same time providing a rich and interesting social environment. Teaching and learning at this stage is mainly done through play. Children typically have the freedom to choose from a range of purposeful games and activities. The teacher sometimes leads the class, sometimes sets children off on their own activities and is always at hand to provide guidance and encouragement. Topics and activities are structured and planned in order for children to make progress in seven areas of learning and development: Communication and Language, Physical Development, Personal, Social & Emotional Development, Literacy, Mathematics, Understanding the World, and Expressive Arts & Design. A typical day for a child in Early Years at BCB involves conversation, discussion, questions, reasoning, storytelling, looking at and reading books, learning rhymes, outdoor activities and plenty of playing and socialising. Most of the time is spent with the class teacher except when doing Music, PE and Portuguese, activities that are conducted by specialists.
Guide to Year Groups at BCB Early Years: AGE
Age as of July 1st
Seven Areas of Learning The curriculum at BCB ensures children are ready for Primary School by providing them a range of knowledge and skills to build the right foundation for good future progress. By the end of the Early Years children will have acquired most, if not all, of the following skills and abilities in each of the seven areas of learning: 1. Communication & Language Listening & Attention: Children listen attentively in a range of situations. They listen to stories, accurately anticipating key events and respond to what they hear with relevant comments, questions or actions. They give their attention to what others say and respond appropriately, while engaged in another activity. Understanding: Children follow instructions involving several ideas or actions. They answer ‘how’ and ‘why’ questions about their experiences and in response to stories or events. Speaking: Children express themselves effectively, showing awareness of listeners’ needs. They use past, present and future forms accurately when talking about events that have happened or are to happen in the future. They develop their own narratives and explanations by connecting ideas or events. 2. Physical Development Moving & Handling: Children show good control and coordination in large and small movements. They move confidently in a range of ways, safely negotiating space. They handle equipment and tools effectively, including pencils for writing.
Health & Self-Care: Children know the importance for good health, physical exercise, and a healthy diet, and talk about ways to keep healthy and safe. They manage their own basic hygiene and personal needs, including dressing and going to the bathroom independently. 3. Personal, Social & Emotional Development Self-Confidence & Self-Awareness: Children are confident to try new activities, and say why they like some activities more than others. They are confident to speak in a familiar group, will talk about their ideas, and will choose the resources they need for their chosen activities. They say when they do or donâ€™t need help. Managing Feelings & Behaviour: Children talk about how they and others show feelings, talk about their own and othersâ€™ behaviour and its consequences, and know that some behaviour is unacceptable. They work as part of a group or class, and understand and follow the rules. They adjust their behaviour to different situations and take changes of routine in their stride. Making Relationships: Children play cooperatively, taking turns with others. They take account of one anotherâ€™s ideas about how to organise their activity. They show sensitivity to others, needs and feelings and form positive relationships with adults and other children. 4. Literacy Reading: Children read and understand simple sentences. They use phonic knowledge to decode words and read them aloud accurately. They also read some common irregular words. They demonstrate understanding when talking with others about what they have read. Writing: Children use their phonic knowledge to write words in ways that match their spoken sounds. They also write some irregular common words. They write simple sentences, which can be read by themselves and others.
5. Mathematics Numbers: Children count reliably with numbers from 1 to 20, place them in order and say which number is one more or one less than a given number. Using quantities and objects, they add and subtract two single-digit numbers and count on or back to find the answer. They solve problems, including doubling, halving and sharing. Shape, Space & Measures: Children use everyday language to talk about size, weight, capacity, position, distance, time and money to compare quantities and objects and to solve problems. They recognise, create and describe patterns. They explore characteristics of everyday objects and shapes and use mathematical language to describe them. 6. Understanding The World People & Communities: Children talk about past and present events in their own lives and in the lives of family members. They know that other children donâ€™t always enjoy the same things, and are sensitive to this. They know about similarities and differences between themselves and others, and among families, communities and traditions. The World: Children know about similarities and differences in relation to places, objects, materials and living things. They talk about the features of their own environment and how environments might vary from one another. They make observations of animals and plants and explain why some things occur, and talk about changes. Technology: Children recognise that a range of technology is used in places such as homes and schools. They select and use technology for particular purposes.
7. Expressive Arts & Design Exploring and using media and materials: Children sing songs, make music and dance, and experiment with ways of changing them. They safely use and explore a variety of materials, tools and techniques, experimenting with colour, design, texture, form and function. Being imaginative: Children use what they have learnt about media and materials in original ways, thinking about uses and purposes. They represent their own ideas, thoughts and feelings through design and technology, art, music, dance, role-play and stories.
Additional Curriculum Information Educational Visits Students enjoy learning through educational visits. In Early Years we aim to go on a school trip every term. Often the trips are linked with the topic being taught in school. The visits rely heavily on support from parents who help out on these days. Parents are welcome and encouraged to join in the trips. A Thematic Approach Our teachers adopt a thematic approach to teaching and learning in Early Years. Children will learn by participating in a variety of carefully planned and structured play-based activities for each theme, with more formal activities beginning in the later years of Early Years. At BCB, we incorporate mini-topics into our curriculum; these are based on childrenâ€™s interests and their natural curiosity about the world around them.
Cultural Awareness Cultural awareness is promoted throughout the year. We celebrate International Week, enjoy various festivals and, of course, recognise the range of cultures represented in our classes. Time is given for expression through art, music, dance and drama. During International Week, for example, each class might study a different country and learn about traditions, cultures, foods and much more. At the end of the week, classes then share with one another information about their country; they also get to dress in clothes that represent their own or another country. Assessments and Reporting Procedures Assessments are continually made throughout Early Years to ensure the children are progressing at expected levels and are suitably challenged and supported. Work samples are collected to help document each childâ€™s progress and celebrate achievements. The Initial Report will include a summary of academic and pastoral progress in the early weeks of the year. Comments will not be subjectspecific and are intended to give an outline of how the year has started. The Mid-Year Report will identify effort, progress and achievement in all areas of the curriculum. It also includes general comments. The report will reflect performance in the first half of the year. The End Of Year Report will identify effort, progress and achievement in all areas of the curriculum. It also includes general comments. The report will reflect performance in the second half of the year.
Each report will be timed to coincide with a parent and teacher consultations. Consultations will focus on the main aspects of the report that the parent and class teacher wish to discuss. These consultations also provide parents with an opportunity to meet with specialist teachers. As part of these consultations, portfolios will be collated throughout the year and shared at these meetings. All student books will normally be sent home at the end of the year (with the exception of examples required for inspection or display purposes). At the beginning of each term, a curriculum letter will be shared with parents providing information about the teaching and learning that will take place in the class during that term. Home Learning It is very important that the school works closely with parents to develop a love of learning in our students. It helps significantly if activities completed at home are completed at a regular time each day and under the best conditions in order for the child to enjoy learning. Fostering an excellent home-school relationship is key to us, and our teachers are always happy to give guidelines so that the support given at home mirrors what is learnt by children at school. In Early Years, home learning often simply involves supporting us by: promoting independence at home (e.g. encouraging/teaching your child to take off and put on their own shoes and coat and eating by themselves, etc.), sharing and discussing books together, strengthening motor skills by writing and colouring, asking questions to get students thinking, getting children physically active and playing alongside others, and completing puzzles and encouraging them to solve problems.
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