Curriculum

early years programme

The Taaleem Early Years Framework at The Children's Garden

Early Years Framework

Every child is full of promise and ideas and our early years framework encourages children to play and explore, to discover and grow, to persevere, learn and understand in an environment full of language, communication and creativity. Everything we do starts with the child and we use the environment to stimulate their imagination, curiosity and sense of wonder. We give them the praise, encouragement and confidence to see themselves as successful learners on their life-long learning journey. We support children in developing a positive sense of their own identity and culture and help them to establish personal values as a foundation for the development of a moral sense and understanding of a wide range of cultures.

Partnership with Parents

Being a parent is very special and all parents want the very best for their child. Parents are children’s first educators and we work closely together to learn as much as possible about their child’s needs and interests so that there is a smooth transition from home to school. We keep parents well informed about how their child is developing and learning and help them to understand what to expect in their child’s development during these vitally important early years in school. At The Children’s Garden parents are welcomed, valued and respected as part of our learning community.  

The Taaleem Early Years Framework is influenced by Research into Brain Development

The brain grows phenomenally in the first years of life. Learning occurs from every experience, involving all the senses and the richer the experiences, the deeper will be the learning.  The pathways linking brain cells increase and thicken directly in response to the level and quality of the experiences. Like a string of fairy lights, each new sensation helps to light up the individual fairy lights, the signal along the connecting wires strengthens with every new experience, thus children’s minds are like a million fairy lights and the Taaleem Early Years Framework plays a vital role in switching these on and making the lights glow stronger. At TCG we value these development and skills and foster them in creative ways. Our children spend time on developing their physical coordination, strength and balance as well as their creative and critical thinking skills. All of these area will support strong brain development and support and build firm foundations to support your child’s learning.
 

Bringing the Vision to Life 

We bring the Company vision and values to life by making sure that our top priority is always on ensuring the best possible outcomes for children. We pay particular attention to developing children’s language using conversation and story- telling to enable children to articulate and create meaning from their experiences.

We encourage children to make their own choices and decisions and to find their individual passions and talents.  We create a rich and varied environment which supports children’s learning and development and gives them confidence to explore and learn in secure and safe, yet challenging, indoor and outdoor spaces. You will see, hear and feel our langauges being used to communicate in every corner of our school. We nurture their independence and self -confidence by making sure that they can readily access resources. We provide visual aids to help children who cannot yet read through photo labelling and visual timetables so they can follow daily routines. We offer stimulating resources, relevant to all the children’s cultures and communities.

Above all, we make time to talk to children and listen to what they have to say, we value their opinions, thoughts, feelings and desires. We understand that shared conversations are among the most powerful interactions adults can have with children, especially when they are talking about their own ideas and interests.

The Early Years Framework encourages a love of learning, promotes success and develops in each child the skills for life-long learning and personal growth. These include diligence, persistence, resilience, concentration, attentiveness, determination, independence and problem solving. The development of key personal attributes such as respect, thoughtfulness and adaptability helps prepare children for transitions within the early years classes and getting them ready for the primary phase. The Early Years Framework encapsulates the Characteristics of Effective Learning identified in best international practice. These are the building blocks for skills in innovation – a crucial part of the UAE National Agenda.  


Key Elements of Taaleem Early Years Framework at The Children’s Garden

· A deep understanding of child development from birth to five years, informed by research into brain development and based on the belief in a
  competent child, full of promise

· A secure, supportive and stimulating environment where children have the time to learn through play and explore materials so that they can
  develop their own ideas

· Skilled and committed staff who have the highest expectations of every child

· Strong partnerships with parents

· Frequent observations of each child to assess progress, identify needs and to plan the next steps for learning

· Careful planning which supports the highest outcomes for children and responds to their spontaneous ideas.  

· Provision that ensures that children have ready access to quality resources and materials to pursue their individual interests, exercise choice
  and develop independence.

· Valuing children’s achievements by collecting and annotating what they produce or taking photographs of these

· Periodic age-appropriate assessments of each child which provide a summary of the child’s achievements at a particular point in time so that
  their progress can be monitored and used to plan the next steps of their learning

· A strong emphasis on preparing children for the next and subsequent phases of education

· A creative, loving, nurturing environment where every child will meet their potential

 
The Early Years Framework in Practice

Children enjoy a rich, varied and stimulating framework that is relevant to their needs and celebrates the school’s international setting in the UAE. The Framework equips children with the knowledge, skills and attitudes to foster their all round development.   It develops their curiosity, exploration and play, which lie at the heart of their creative and expressive experiences. It encourages active and collaborative learning within a secure and supportive environment where children acquire confidence, begin to take responsibility for their own learning and relate constructively and harmoniously to others. It recognises that every child is different and children develop in different ways and at different rates.
 
Integrating Indoor and Outdoor Learning

 We use the environment as a place of learning and discovery where indoor and outdoor areas flow into each other. No one space is an island. The outdoors and indoors offer children the opportunity to learn in different ways and in different places so that there is a balance of child-initiated independent play and adult - guided learning. To achieve this balance, we plan out and present an ever-changing environment to meet the needs and interests of young children, while stimulating their intellectual development. We see the environment as a “second teacher” supporting children’s learning.  Our outdoors environments provide a wide and varied range of challenging and exciting opportunities for children in all areas of the framework to ensure that their needs are met, their ideas are fostered and they are able to practise and consolidate their existing skills and develop new ones relevant to their next stage of development

Outdoors learning offers challenging and accessible learning opportunities including those that promote and encourage thinking, feeling, doing, being and enjoying. Using the outdoors is almost always about language. Children use language to express their thinking and to communicate actively what they are doing. Outdoor spaces are environments where young children learn about the world around them including nature and the seasons. We ensure places are safe and secure, offer challenge, and promote exploration investigation, fun and adventure.

Areas of the Early Years Framework

 The Early Years Framework has a clear rationale, aligned to each individual Taaleem school and to the national educational vision of the UAE. It has breadth and balance across all subjects.  It has three major areas which are fundamental, work together, and support development in all other subjects.  These are:

o   Personal and social and innovation skills – making relationships, developing self-confidence and self-awareness, managing feelings and behaviour and understanding Islamic values and awareness of Emirati and world cultures

o   Communication and language – listening, understanding and speaking in Arabic and English

o   Physical development – movement, health and self-care

It also has specific areas which include essential skills and knowledge for children to participate successfully in society. These are:

o   Literacy – reading and writing in Arabic and English

o   Mathematics – numbers, shape, space and measure

o   Understanding the world – people and communities, the world, science and technology

o   Expressive arts and design – exploring and using media and materials, being imaginative.

 
Personal and Social and Innovation Skills

This area of the Early Years Framework permeates every aspect of school life. Through the subject matter and the way it is taught, children learn to respect themselves and others. It builds their self-confidence and self-awareness and helps them manage their feelings and behaviour so that they make strong and respectful relationships with others. They learn empathy and tolerance of others. They begin to develop a sense of personal responsibility and to regulate their own behaviour. They develop an understanding of Islamic values and awareness of Emirati and world cultures. Young children of every cultural or ethnic background need to develop a secure and positive sense of their own identity and we ensure that children see themselves and their family reflected in play resources, visual images and books. 

Communication and Language

The communication and language framework is vital in helping children develop into good communicators and keen readers. Children enjoy varied practical experiences and gain rapid confidence and fluency through reading and telling stories, role-play, songs and discussion that encourage them to ask and respond to questions. Stimulating displays remind children of what they have experienced, using objects, artefacts, photographs and books.

The language framework celebrates the many benefits of learning both Arabic and English. The ability to think and speak in a second language requires children to be confident and articulate in their first language.  Through learning both Arabic and English children have opportunities to strengthen their skills and confidence in using their first language while learning the second language. This contributes to their overall cognitive development and mental flexibility and in turn, also helps improve their self- esteem as learners and individuals. Crucially important, it enables all children to celebrate Arabic culture and heritage.

Physical Development

Physical education provides wonderful opportunities for children to develop their physical fitness, confidence, control and coordination. The activities are carefully designed to engage children and encourage them to “have a go”, and try some that they can’t quite do yet. Adults support children by talking about how they and children get better at things through effort and practice, and what they can learn when things go wrong.  Links with personal and social skills are particularly strong; children are encouraged to be proud of what they accomplish and to aim high.  The respect adults show for children’s efforts and ideas helps children feel safe to take a risk and try out new ideas.

Literacy

The literacy framework develops children’s early reading and writing skills systematically, so that they learn to read and understand simple sentences and to write simple sentences in meaningful contexts which can be read by themselves and others. Enthusiasm for reading and talking about reading pervades each classroom and encourages a love of books so that children read for pleasure and information. Classroom environments are rich in print, which acts as a ‘second teacher” enthusing children, giving purpose to and supporting their independent reading and writing.

Mathematics

The mathematics framework encourages children to develop an interest and curiosity about numbers, shape and measure from their everyday experiences. Through careful guidance and imaginative resources, children deepen their understanding through practical age-appropriate activities. They use mathematical language increasingly in their role play as, for example, they discuss how many places they need to set at a table for their friends or why more blocks can be fitted into a square box. They become increasingly confident in trying different approaches to solving mathematical problems. They use counting to help them solve problems that are important to them like sharing a sandwich equally with friends.

Understanding the World – People and Communities, the World, Science and Technology

This area 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.  Exposure to exciting activities and scientific ways of working in age-appropriate ways builds on children’s natural curiosity about the world. It helps children develop their understanding of people and communities, similarities and differences in relation to places, objects, materials and living things.  By studying pictures of old Dubai and Abu Dhabi, children learn how places, traditions and people change and what remains the same. They listen to visitors and ask about aspects of their lives or things they do in their work. They learn about similarities and differences between themselves and others and to respect these differences.  They observe the features of their own immediate environment and learn how environments might vary from one to another and explore reasons for this.  Using magnifiers, magnets and natural resources, children make observations of animals and plants to explain why some things occur, and talk about changes. They carry out experiments and make predictions and explain how and why things change like seeds growing into plants or ice melting in water.

Children select and use technology for particular purposes to support their learning across the framework. They use it to aid the process of exploration and investigation with open-ended experiments where the process is as important as the product.

Expressive Arts and Design

Creative ideas take time to develop and flow and children need time to experiment and play and, through trial and error, initiate and express their own ideas and to finish working through these. Children represent their own ideas, thoughts and feelings through design and technology, art, music, dance, role- play and stories. What really matters is the effort and the ideas that have gone into the drawings or models as children experiment with different media and materials or acting out their stories or expressing their ideas and feelings through music, painting, modelling, clay, and collage

Creative experiences are full of opportunities for children to talk and develop language and for adults to listen to them, to take time to look at what children have created, and then display it.  It is through these experiences that children recreate their world and make sense of their own ideas.
© 2017 The Children's Garden. All Rights Reserved. A Taaleem School

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