International School, Luxembourg A.S.B.L.
Early Years Good Things to Know
We hope you find this handbook useful; it contains information which is an extension of the Parent Handbook you will have already received. You will receive further information in the form of termly Year Group letters with in depth information on each of the subjects your child(ren) will be studying.
Learning is growing in doing, knowing and understanding.
TABLE OF CONTENTS WELCOME TO EARLY YEARS ............................................................................................................ 5 THE FOUNDATION CURRICULUM ...................................................................................................... 7 VALUES ........................................................................................................................................ 9 LETTER OUTLINES ....................................................................................................................... 18 CURSIVE ALPHABET ..................................................................................................................... 19
WELCOME TO EARLY YEARS We would like to welcome you to the St George’s Foundation programme. We are sure your child will settle in quickly and gain a great deal from their time with us. Advice for giving your child the best start to school life: The key word is ‘independence’! Independence enables your child’s progress to be easier and quicker. Therefore, please note the following information. Arrival at school – encourage your child to hang up their own coat and put their belongings in the appropriate places. Please also arrive on time, the ‘free-time’ play is an important start to the day to settle children and to ease them in to the busy day ahead. The school day is 8:30-15:00. Clothing – should be of a style that makes dressing/undressing for personal needs and independence possible; elasticated waistbands on trousers are easier, shoes should be velcro or slip-on style, slippers should be sturdy and well fitting, with a back support on them. Skills to be practised now: putting coats on and taking them off independently, putting shoes onto correct feet by themselves and also taking them off. Learning left from right. Children in school must be completely independent in the toilet as they are not assisted, so we do not expect toilet accidents. Bathroom independence – children cannot start with us unless they are completely toilet trained. Children in Early Years should be supplied with a change of clothing or two (in case of getting wet from playing with water tray or during wet playtime), this should be left at school in the red bag provided, on their peg. Packed lunches and snacks – please ensure that your child can open and close their bags and boxes. Children should be able to open all wrapped food (clementines, apples etc. can be peeled/chopped, pre-packaged items can be pre-torn, drink bottles should have sports tops). Boiled sweets are not suitable because of the choking hazard. Nuts, while nutritious, are not advisable as we often have other children who have nut allergies. Please make sure lunch bags are an appropriate size – they should not be oversized, and suitcase bags on wheels are not appropriate. It is possible to purchase canteen lunches, these are easy to eat and children can use a spoon or fork to feed themselves, they do not need to cut up their food. Book bags and files – your child will be issued with these, please bring them back as requested! Red book bags should come in with them every day as it contains their journal de classe/diary – a form of communication between home and school. If your child is ever being collected by another parent or anyone else, we MUST have this in writing from you! Gym sessions – please note that the children in Early Years participate in physical activities and have gym lessons in school. They will be given a red school t-shirt to wear for gym. They also need pumps/trainers to wear inside. We have blue tracksuits available for purchase ages 3-4 and 5-6. These are very useful, especially on P.E. days as it makes changing so much easier for them. Clearance Sale – these can be purchased for €10 from the Purchasing Officer every Tuesday until we are out of stock.
End of day or session â€“ please can we emphasise the importance of being here on time! Children get very concerned when they may think they have been forgotten! When your child comes out of school they have had a busy day and may either be bursting to tell you about it or may wish to keep it to themselves. This is all perfectly normal. Thank you for your co-operation. We look forward to welcoming your child to join us and having a wonderful year.
THE FOUNDATION CURRICULUM The period of schooling which extends from 3-5 years is known in the National Curriculum of England and Wales as the ‘Foundation Stage’. Whilst it prepares children for later learning, it is a stage in its own right where much of the learning is through play and hands on experience. Playing is the main medium of learning — good play is characterised by challenge and enjoyment for the individual child. The children build on what they already know from their early learning experiences from home and extend their skills by observing, planning questioning and experimenting, developing their self confidence, learning social skills and deepening their understanding of the world around them. All of this is achieved using a practical programme centred around the three prime and four specific areas of learning, and three learning characteristics that make up the Foundation Stage Curriculum working individually and in groups.
THE PRIME AREAS OF LEARNING Please remember that in Early Years the children will be tackling tasks at the beginning of the learning journey which will be completed at the end of Reception. Communication and Language development involves giving children opportunities to speak and listen in a range of situations and to develop their confidence and skills in expressing themselves. The three areas are: Listening and attention Understanding Speaking Physical development involves providing opportunities for young children to be active and interactive, and to develop their coordination, control and movement. Children must also be helped to understand the importance of physical activity and to make healthy choices in relation to food. The two areas are: Moving and handling Health and self-care Personal, social and emotional development involves helping children to develop a positive sense of themselves and others; to form positive relationships and develop respect for others; to develop social skills and learn how to manage their feelings; to understand appropriate behaviour in groups; and to have confidence in their own abilities. The three areas are: Self-confidence and self-awareness Managing feelings and behaviour Making relationships
THE SPECIFIC AREAS OF LEARNING Literacy involves encouraging children to read and write, both through listening to others reading, and being encouraged to begin to read and write themselves. Children must be given access to a wider range of reading materials – books, poems, and other written materials, to ignite their interest. The two areas are: Reading Writing
Mathematics development involves providing children with opportunities to practise and improve their skills in counting numbers, calculating simple addition and subtraction problems, and to describe shapes, spaces and measures. The two areas are: Numbers Shape, space and measures Understanding of the world involves guiding children to make sense of their physical world and their community through opportunities to explore, observe and find out about people, places, technology and the environment. The three areas are: People and communities The world Technology Expressive arts and design involves supporting children to explore and play with a wide range of media and materials, as well as providing opportunities and encouragement for sharing their thoughts, ideas and feelings through a variety of activities in art, music, movement, dance, role play, and design and technology. The two areas are: Exploring and using media and materials Being imaginative
THE LEARNING CHARACTERISTICS The three characteristics of effective learning comprise playing and exploring, active learning and creating and thinking critically. The characteristics describe the different ways children learn rather than what they learn. They begin at birth and are lifelong characteristics which are critical for building children’s capacity for future learning. These characteristics need to be understood by practitioners working across all seven areas of learning. Playing and exploring – Refers to engagement, comprising three aspects: finding out and exploring; using what they know in their play; being willing to have a go. Active Learning – Refers to motivation, comprising three aspects: being involved and concentrating; keeping on trying; and enjoying achieving what they set out to do. Creating and thinking critically – Refers to thinking, comprising three aspects: having their own ideas; using what they already know to learn new things; and choosing ways to do things and finding new ways.
FRENCH This is introduced into the curriculum for children for whom English is their first language. It is taught in an informal and practical way for the children to join in with role play, songs, stories, etc. Children for whom English is not their mother tongue, join the programme as and when the staff identify that their English has developed to a high enough level to easily cope with the demands of the current and future curriculum.
ASSESSMENT Systematic assessment of learning is, of course, an important component of our programme as it informs teachers, parents and children of the progress the children have achieved. At this age this is completed by observations of the child whilst at play.
THE VARIOUS AREAS OF LEARNING INVOLVE CERTAIN ACTIVITIES, THE INDIVIDUAL VALUES OF WHICH ARE
NOW DESCRIBED IN THE FOLLOWING PAGES.
BOOKS AND POETRY BOOKS Extend language. Bring pleasure and enjoyment and an appreciation of fiction / non-fiction. Source of knowledge. Often stimulate further activity. Lengthen span of concentration. Assist social development. Excellent medium for relaxation or release from emotional tension. May kindle a genuine and lasting interest in books. Stimulate power of thought, memory and imagination. Encourage a quiet time for reflection.
POETRY Offers vocabulary extension and good speech patterns to imitate. Develops memory and concentration. Brings awareness and delight in rhythm and rhyme. Promotes natural group situations. Brings pleasure and satisfaction. May be used to assist a child with a delay speech development. Passes on folk-lore and tradition. Stimulates imagination and thought. May kindle a genuine and lasting interest in poetry. Stimulates role play / drama.
CONSTRUCTIONAL PLAY Strengthens large and small muscles. Improves hand and eye co-ordination. Offers satisfaction and pleasure from being creative. Assists social development through learning to share and take turns. Offers legitimate means for release from tension. Builds up self-confidence and satisfaction from achievement. Helps stimulate dramatic and creative play. Encourages children to think and reason. Numerous opportunities arise for the adult to extend childâ€™s knowledge and language. Natural group situations result in free conversation with peers, older and younger children. Lengthens span of concentration.
COLLAGE AND 3D RECYCLING MODELLING
Improves hand and eye co-ordination. Strengthens fine muscles thus assisting manipulative skills. Offers release from surplus energy and tension. Gives satisfaction and pleasure from being creative. Increases physical skills thus boosting self - confidence. Promotes constructive and creative play. Assists learning through touch, sight and hearing. Brings an awareness to shapes, size and texture. Offers opportunity for language extension with adult and other children. Stimulates power of thought, memory and relaxation. Assists social development through learning to share and take turns. Promotes group co-operation. Lengthens span of concentration.
JIGSAWS, GAMES AND IMAGINATIVE TOYS Strengthens small muscles thus assisting manipulative skills. Develops hand and eye co-ordination. Increases span of concentration. Develops visual discrimination. Brings satisfaction from achievement. Stimulates power of thought, memory and imagination. Encourages language through conversation with adult and other children. Increases vocabulary. Extends general knowledge. Assists in social training through learning to share and take turns. Develops an awareness of shape, size and texture. Encourages group situations. Numerous opportunities arise for incidental learning. Encourages child to think and reason.
Strengthens small and large muscles thus assisting manipulative skills e.g. control of hand movements, hand and eye co-ordination. Brings satisfaction from achievement. Stimulates other creative work with other materials. Extends childrenâ€™s knowledge of colour. Develops span of concentration. Gives child a non-verbal means of communication. Encourages social training through learning to share and take turns. Reflects childâ€™s depths of observation. May offer topic of conversation. Offers a legitimate release from tension, especially finger painting.
OUTDOOR PLAY, INCLUDING SAND Extends general knowledge through self-discovery. Develops span of concentration. Offers possible release from tension in a legitimate way building up, knocking down own creations. Stimulates conversation by naturally forming group in-situ. Improves hand and eye co-ordination. Assists in social training through learning to share and take turns. Offers opportunities to exercise and so strengthen large and small muscles. Stimulates imagination. Encourages creativity. Gives satisfaction from achievement and so builds self-confidence. Helps to relax upset children through its soothing and satisfying qualities. Presents numerous opportunities for language extension through general conversation with adult and other children. Numerous opportunities arise for incidental learning.
WATER Offers possible release from tension in a legitimate way: e.g. wave hands in water vigorously. Stimulates conversation by naturally forming group situations. Offers opportunities to practise and so improve hand and eye co-ordination by filling, emptying, pouring. Assists in social training by learning to share and take turns. Exercises small muscles and so assists manipulative skills. Stimulates imagination. Gives satisfaction from achievement and so builds up self-confidence. Helps to relax an upset child through its soothing and satisfying qualities. Presents numerous opportunities for language extension through observations and general conversation with adults and other children. Numerous opportunities arise for incidental learning. Extends general knowledge through selfdiscovery. Lengthens span of concentration.
BAKING Offers opportunities for language extension with adults. Increases general knowledge e.g. changes in consistencies. Gives satisfaction and pleasure from being creative. Promotes group situation. Improves hand and eye co-ordination. Strengthens small muscles through pouring, stirring, mixing. Encourages independence. Assists in social training through sharing and taking turns. Independence and awareness of health and safety through using equipment safely. Encourages group situations. Offers learning situations through the senses: smell, touch, sight. Offers an awareness and recognition of different shapes and textures. Numerous opportunities arise for the adult to extend learning situations: “How many spoonfuls?”, “Which spoon is bigger?” Lengthens span of concentration. Introduction to early science and numeracy.
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up, over, back around, up, down, flick.
up, to the top, down, half way up, right around.
up, over, back round.
up, to the top, over, back, right down, loop.
up, over, back around, up, right down, loop.
up, over, back around, up, right down, loop.
up, down, flick. (Dot after)
up, down, flick. (Dot after)
up, to the top, down, half way up, right round, down out, flick.
up, to the top, down, flick.
up, down, up, over, up, over, flick.
up, down, up, over, flick.
up, over, back all the way round, flick.
up, right down, up, right round.
up, over, back around, up, right down, flick.
up, down, back up, over, flick.
up, over, back around, round.
up, to the top, down, flick. (Cross after)
up, down, round, up, down, flick.
up, down, up, flick.
up, down, flick. (Cross down after)
up, down, round, up, right down, loop.
up, down, up, down, up, flick.
up, over, back around, up to the top, down, flick.
up, along, down, along
St Georgeâ€™s International School, Luxembourg
11, rue des Peupliers L-2328 Luxembourg tel: +352 42 32 24 fax: +352 42 32 34 www.st-georges.lu