Westbrook Little People Curriculum 2023/2024
Our curriculum is designed to be accessible for all children, regardless of special educational needs or disabilities. We are ambitious for every child.
· To be offered a wide range of opportunities that spark awe and wonder.
(UW, CL, PSED, L, PD, M. EAD)
VOCABULARY: What, Why, How, If, Imagine, Think.
Awe and wonder are powerful feelings that leave a mark. We seek to develop natural curiosity, creativity, and the ability to make connections. Examples: Special visitors, science experiments, watching tadpoles turn into frogs, looking for rainbows, tasting food from other cultures, planting seeds and watching them grow, discovering patterns and shapes in nature, weights – will something sink or float, roman numerals, Bollywood music, classical music and more. We observe our children at play and plan activities that follow their interests and introduce them to new ideas and concepts. We regularly spark conversations with age-appropriate questions “What would happen if…?”, “What might happen next...?”, “What else could we do…”, “How could you achieve this differently?...”
· To be independent in self-care such as dressing, undressing and toileting.
VOCABULARY: Put on, Take off, Right, Left.
Empowering children to be independent has many benefits, the core of which is that it builds confidence and self-esteem. We ask all children to first ‘have a go’ with something small like putting an arm through the sleeve of their coat. We find their discovery of doing things for themselves soon has a ripple effect and encourages them to try to do more for themselves. We offer self-service at snack times, their own peg for coats and bags, a hygiene station for nose wiping and teeth cleaning, and a hand washing station. Children are encouraged to use the potty when ready and then move on to the toilet. An adult is always standing by ready to support and encourage. We work with parents/carers to help underpin children’s learning at home.
· To recognize and label how they are feeling and to communicate their needs.
(PSED, CL, UW)
VOCABULARY: Happy, Sad, Calm, Loved, Angry, Scared.
Recognising, understanding, and labeling emotions can have a positive impact on children’s mental health, behaviour, and academic success. We provide numerous resources to underpin this part of our curriculum with the cohesive use of ‘The Colour Monster’ books, cuddly toys, cards and feeling boards. This is upheld and supported by our teaching staff who work closely with all children and their families to ensure their emotional wellbeing.
· To be able to listen, share, and take turns.
VOCABULARY: My Turn, Your Turn, Stop, Wait, Go, Share.
Listening, sharing, and turn taking are vital life skills teaching children about fairness and compromise as well as how to negotiate with others and manage disappointment. Turn taking is built into nearly all our activities at Westbrook Little People whether it is waiting for a preferred colouring pencil or to have a turn on the slide. We also regularly play board games in small groups to embed waiting and the sharing of resources. Staff acknowledge to the children that waiting and sharing can be difficult but that the reward is we get to play with our friends.
· To be able to hold and use mark making tools with control.
VOCABULARLY: Pen, Paper, Draw, Paint, Colour, Try, Hold.
Mark making supports children with communicating their ideas, expressing their feelings, developing their imagination, and testing their hypotheses about the world. It also promotes fine and gross motor skills, different grips and control over their bodies. Children have access to art, crafts, and mark making materials every day both individually and in group activities such as large pieces of wallpaper to collectively adorn with their imaginations. We support the use of scissors, paint, crayons, glitter, junk modelling and much more. Children are supported according to their age/ability, with some learning how to hold a pencil and others writing full sentences.
· To listen to and retell a story, understanding how a book works.
(CL, UW, L)
VOCABULARY: Book, Story, Author, Cover, Title, Pages.
Listening to stories and rhymes introduces children to words they would not often hear in everyday speech and gives them an introduction to sentence structure. We provide a wide range of reading experiences to our children and encourage a love of reading, curiosity and wonder of the world around them. We remind children that books can be delicate and that we must look after them and place them back in the bookshelf afterwards. We read to children daily, and children will often select the stories they wish to hear. We also use story bags for a more interactive experience. Sometimes the children mirror us and replicate their own story time independently where one child is the ‘teacher’ and the others listen. We offer books to take and share at home and use books to help children recognize differences and similarities between other cultures or needs and abilities.
· Having the social skills and confidence to play alongside or with other children.
(PSED, CL, UW)
VOCABULARY: Together, Friend, Fun, Play, Share.
Through play, children learn how to navigate the world in a way they can understand and process. We support independent play, as well as parallel and cooperative play when a child is ready. We provide opportunities for all types of play in our setting including small group time, together time, outings as a setting, and role play areas where children can play together in imaginative games and scenarios. We role model behaviour and praise effort. We note how well children solve problems, have ideas, and negotiate with their peers, and intervene when necessary to help foster a healthy playing environment.