Children in Squirrels have an exciting, free-flow day. They help their teacher to choose an overall topic to focus on for a week or two – recent examples being sharks, fairy tales, dinosaurs, space rockets and ants.
The curriculum is organised into the seven areas of the Early Years Foundation Stage:
- Personal, social and emotional development
- Communication and language
- Physical development
- Understanding the World
- Expressive arts and design
Activities are planned so that, whatever their ability, pupils make progress in each of these areas across each week’s learning. As pupils gain skills, knowledge and understanding, so the activities are changed to provide increasing challenge or access to new areas of learning.
Every day, each child spends time with an adult in the class, either alone or as part of a small group. They are taught specific skills (such as counting, learning to recognise letters and sounds, practising physical skills in PE or learning to write). They are also encouraged to complete some activities which their teachers have planned and modelled for them. Finally, they choose from the wide range of resources and learn through play either alone or in groups.
The teacher-led and teacher-modelled activities take place in both the inside and outside classroom areas. Except for the adult-led activity, the children choose for themselves whether to be outside or in. Each day, the class come together for a mid-morning fruit snack, for lunch and often for some whole-class time (such as story time or music time).