Early Years Education

1. Recognise the significance of the prime areas of children’s learning and development 2. Justify the emphasis on PSED in the development of children in the early years. 3. Identify and articulate the characteristics of effective learning and their practical application within the identified prime areas of learning. 4. Demonstrate an understanding of planning developmentally appropriate activities for the identified prime areas of learning. PLEASE REMEMBER THIS IS JUST AN INTRODUCTION. 1st example. Every child is unique. The Statutory framework for the Early Years Foundation stage (EYFS) para1.3:7 makes it compulsory for practitioners to reflect on the different ways that children learn by focusing on the characteristics of effective learning (CoEL) which are playing and exploring active learning, and creating and thinking critically when planning and guiding children’s activities. This implies that children’s individual needs interest and stage of development should be taken full account of when planning challenging and enjoyable experiences for them and places huge responsibility on practitioners to provide structure, support and direction to develop children’s potential and learning experience in their early years. (Macblain, 2014). Vygotsky (1978) acknowledged that the role of adults who understand how children learn and foster their abilities to become effective learners is crucial. All areas of development are important and interconnected but three areas are particularly crucial for igniting children’s curiosity and enthusiasm for learning and for building their capacity to learn, form relationships and thrive (Statutory Framework for the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS); DfE 2014:7). These are Physical Development (PD), Communication and Language (CL) and Personal Social and Emotional Development (PSED). Dame Tickell in her review of the EYFS (2010) believed that the prime areas are essential blocks for securing positive outcomes for young children later in life and into adulthood. This is evidenced in practice by the attention practitioners give to planning and assessment of children in the prime area of learning and development because they are fundamental and support development in all other areas (Development Matters 2012). PSED is recognized as one of the building blocks of success in life and by promoting the emotional wellbeing of children through their early year’s experiences practitioners can support children to develop positive sense of themselves, respect for others, social skills and a positive disposition to learn. In this piece of work, the practitioner will discuss the significance of the prime areas of learning and development through three activity plans and how PSED underpins the development of children in their early years. The identified characteristics of effective learning will be discussed using development theories on play and role of practitioners in promoting children’s learning. References will be made to both the Statutory Framework for the EYFS (2014) and Development Matters (DM) in the EYFS (2012) to support discussion. Physical development involves providing opportunities for young children to be active and interactive and to develop their coordination control and movement (EYFS 2014:9). It is suggested that movement is essential for healthy development and is the medium for learning. The provision of a quality environment that is safe and stimulating will help children to develop curiosity and coordination, confidence to engage, explore, and develop coordination and physical abilities. Being physically active promotes learning through movement, manipulative skill and the functioning of all senses and sensory systems (Woodfield, 2004). By supporting their wellbeing (PSED) and learning strategies children can exercise control over their lives. Fisher (1996) explained that being active is not just moving about but the totality of opportunities for children to engage with a wide range of experiences actively. Through these experiences gained from interactions with their environment children are confident to carry out their plans, individually, in pairs or in groups. The activities planned would allow children to engage in experiential play by using their senses to explore take a risk and learn by trial and error and purposeful play. Woodfield 2004 and Louis 2013 suggested that experiential and schematic play provides children with possibilities of thinking and opportunity to develop their actions and ideas by trial and error. Jerome Bruner, cited in Macblain (2014:145) argued that learning is not something that happens to individuals but something which they themselves make happen by the manner in which they handle incoming information and put it to use. 2nd example of introduction. A theoretical discussion of the characteristics of effective learning with a specific focus on PSED This assignment will focus on the significance of the prime areas of children’s learning and development that have been implemented into early year’s education by the Development Matters framework (2012), whilst highlighting just how important the Personal, Social and Emotional development of children is in today’s education. The prime areas are most effective to a child’s development when the characteristics of effective learning are used together with them. These characteristics will be analysed thoroughly to create an understanding of how important they are to the development of a child. Enclosed in the appendix are three carefully selected activity plans catered to the children’s individual needs, which were found through observations in a reception setting, that aim to develop the children in each of the prime areas, the use of the characteristics of effective learning has been applied throughout to ensure that the children remain engaged and challenged by the activities as Development Matters (2012) states that ‘the ways in which the child engages with other people and their environment underpin learning and development across all areas and support the child to remain an effective and motivated learner.’ These activity plans will be used as examples of how the characteristics of effective learning are applied to a setting with the use of relevant work from theorists and reports to provide an in depth approach and support any arguments that are made in aim to produce an overall understanding of how a child develops throughout their growth into a successful adult.

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