Early Years

Foundation Stage 1 & 2:

At 3 and a half years of age, the child is initiated into schooling through innovative methods of teaching and learning and fun filled activities within the framework of the UK’s Early Years programme using a topic based approach complemented by the International Primary Curriculum (IPC). A positive attitude to school is fostered through individual attention, encouragement and support. Our endeavour is to make learning exciting and pressure free in a safe, secure and happy environment making the transition from home to school an easy one. Our endeavour is to make learning exciting and pressure free in a safe, secure and happy environment making the transition from home to school
an easy one.

During these formative years, the Foundation Stage programme is geared towards developing self-esteem, social and interactive skills in addition to the basic cognitive and motor abilities. Learning takes place directly through planned activities including ICT (Information and Communication Technology) and child-initiated activities. They will take part in class learning, group learning, individual learning and free play. Focussed learning sessions start in short but regular sessions, allowing plenty of free playtime in FS1. As the children progress in FS2 they will participate in longer and more regular focussed learning activities, preparing them for the transition into Year 1.

The Foundation curriculum not only acts as a transition between home and school, but also develops in children the learning habits necessary to access education at a later age.

The Foundation Stage programme develops key learning skills such as listening, speaking, concentration, persistence and learning to work together and cooperate with other children. It also develops early communication, literacy and numeracy skills that will prepare young children for Year 1 of the UK National Curriculum. The learning and development skills that most children should have achieved by the end of their two years in the Foundation Stage are called the Early Learning Goals.

What Is the Benefit of a Foundation Stage Education?

The chance to interact with other children is the benefit of Foundation Stage in a nutshell but it is far more than what those few words say.

Interacting with other children means learning how to wait, how to take turns and how to listen. Young children learn social skills when they interact with other children.These social skills are critical to a developing personality.

There are other advantages primarily that they are the foundations for academic learning. In Foundation Stage your child will listen to poetry, rhymes and songs, the building blocks needed to grasp phonics and reading skills when it is developmentally appropriate. The play that takes place with water, sand and containers lay the foundation for understanding some basic mathematical concepts. Matching, sequencing, one-to-one correspondence are all activities that are repeated over and over in Foundation Stage, which helps children, prepare for academic learning. Watching other children pursue a challenging task is also helpful. The presence of other children and a wide variety of materials are two big reasons why Foundation Stage entry is a good thing.

Research has shown that peer relationships contribute a great deal to social development and to the effectiveness with which people function as adults. Indeed, the single best childhood predictor of adult adaptation is not IQ, not school grades and not classroom behaviour. What matters is how the child gets along with other children.

Our Aims in the Foundation Stage

At CES, we recognize that children develop rapidly during the early years, physically, intellectually, emotionally and socially.

At CES, we recognize that children develop rapidly during the early years, physically, intellectually, emotionally and socially. We strive to create
an environment in which:

  • All children feel included, secure and valued.
  • Experiences build on what children already know and can do.
  • The culture, language and ethnicity of our students are celebrated.
  • Children have the opportunity to engage in self-initiated tasks, adult led activities and quality play.
  • Teachers work together to provide progression in learning from FS1 to FS2 to Year 1.


The Foundation Stage Curriculum

The Foundation Stage curriculum is organised into six areas of learning and is as broad and balanced as possible to develop children's intellectual, emotional, cultural and physical needs. The Early Learning Goals establish expectations for most children to reach by the end of the Foundation Stage, but are not a curriculum in themselves. They are organised into the six basic areas of learning and provide the basis for planning throughout the Foundation Stage, in essence laying secure foundations for future learning.

Emphasis is placed on personal, social and emotional development during the first part of the academic year:


Personal, Social and Emotional

This is an introduction to life outside of the home, where children develop self-confidence and independence, learn to socialise and cooperate with others, express emotions and treat others with care and respect.

Communication, Language and Literacy

Children are encouraged to develop their language skills and to widen their vocabulary. Listening skills are extended and they begin to associate sounds with patterns and rhymes. An understanding of books along with the meaning of print and how to handle and enjoy them is essential for the development of reading and writing skills. They become familiar with words and letters and develop an awareness of the purpose of writing, practising the pre-writing skills needed for future development.

Mathematical Development

The development of mathematical awareness and the meaning and importance of number is introduced. Shape, volume, measurement and capacity, as well as the language used to describe them, are built into practical activities and play situations the children participate in every day.

Knowledge and Understanding of the World

As the child explores and discovers new experiences, they develop a growing awareness of the world around them looking at similarities, differences, patterns and change. The child’s general knowledge and understanding grows, encouraging their natural curiosity about themselves and their environment fosters this understanding. This forms the basis for scientific, geographical and historical learning during their education.

Creative Development

We learn through our senses. Music, song, dance, stories, imaginative play and art provide the opportunities to stimulate and develop those senses. All these activities heighten the senses increasing their receptiveness and developing the ability to understand the world and express emotions.

Physical Development

Climbing, balancing, pulling, pushing, pedaling, running, jumping and digging are all activities that improve and encourage the gross motor skills we need in everyday life. Painting, pouring, cutting, gluing, colouring and drawing develop hand/eye coordination and fine the motor skills children need to develop writing skills. As the child’s coordination and agility develops so does their self-confidence and strength.

Introducing children to the curriculum in this manner helps them to feel secure, valued and confident and develops their sense of achievement through learning, which is a pleasurable and rewarding experience.

All children strive to reach the goals set out in the Foundation Stage but they do so at different speeds and some children may go beyond them; that is why our qualified and experienced staff are ready to provide the next challenge for each child as they reach them, or provide extra help for children who need it.
What each child learns each day in their Foundation Stage class is what they need to experience and understand in order to progress through the stepping-stones of the Foundation Stage.

Play

Play is very important to children. When adults "play”, they usually are relaxing from the stress and concerns of their working life. When children "play”, they are learning, acquiring and developing skills and understanding of the world around them. Therefore, play is the key to the way young children learn.
Through play your child can develop, for example, the fine hand control, which is necessary to hold and control a pencil in order to learn to write.Through play your child can develop, for example, the fine hand control, which is necessary to hold and control a pencil in order to learn to write. They also learn about properties and begin to form concepts about the world around them, which are the foundation of all future learning. In educational terms, this is called active learning and is now recognised as an essential, effective and valuable start to a child’s education.

All children will find some way of playing in whatever surroundings they find themselves, and they will learn skills whilst doing so, but we want the children in the Foundation Stage classes to learn and acquire the specific skills they need to be able to attain the highest possible educational standards as they progress through their school careers. Therefore, all the activities and learning experiences that the child participates in daily at school have been carefully selected to promote and support the development of
those skills.

Year 1

The Foundation Stage is the framework for children’s learning in FS1 and FS2; this is followed by the UK National Curriculum. Children in Year 1 will have a gradual move
to UK National Curriculum standards

The UK National Curriculum:

• Sets out the most important knowledge and skills that every child has a right to learn

• Is a framework teachers use, so that all school children are taught in a consistent way

• Gives standards that measure how well children are doing in each subject

The teachers adapt their work so that it is appropriate to the different levels of ability found in each class. Not all children progress at the same rate.

Our Aims in Year 1

  • To build on excellent Foundation Stage experience
  • To continue to develop independence
  • To gradually introduce formal lessons
  • For each child to achieve his/her full potential
  • To enjoy school and continue to develop positive attitudes to learning

The Curriculum:

  • Foundation Stage Guidance
  • UK National Curriculum Guidance
  • National Literacy Strategies
  • National Numeracy Strategies
  • International Primary Curriculum (IPC)

Literacy:

Text, sentence and word level work

Three strands:

  1. Speaking and Listening, including Drama
  2. Writing
  3. Reading

Handwriting

Phonics

Reading:

  • Guided reading takes place once a week, individual reading as often as possible and when we feel we need additional information
  • High frequency words sent home (play games, lotto, bingo, matching games etc.). Checked in class as often as possible
  • Colour scheme
  • Changing books
  • FUN, FUN, FUN!

We use guidance from the UK Literacy Framework for our English lessons. These lessons incorporate activities that look at sounds that make words or meaning of words, whole class reading or writing and group work with a plenary where learning is shared or summed up. While working in groups, children may be given work to discover more about the book or writing being studied, as well as writing in the style being discussed.

Children take part in Guided Reading Sessions. Groups of children with similar ability spend time with the teacher on a regular basis reading and discussing a book. Children who are just learning to read, or who find reading difficult, will be heard reading aloud individually on a regular basis. It is important that children also develop the habit of reading regularly at home, as this encourages them to develop their personal taste and to become more independent and reflective readers. Children have a reading record for parents to sign.

A range of opportunities is provided for children to communicate effectively through speaking and listening activities. These are incorporated into the Literacy lesson or may be used in other curriculum areas.

Numeracy:

  • Practical, small group activities
  • Whole Class sessions
  • Focus on mental maths strategies and real life problem solving
  • Spiral curriculum

We use guidance from the UK Numeracy Framework through the Abacus Evolve programme for our maths lessons. In these lessons, children are encouraged to develop their mathematical thinking and use of appropriate mathematical vocabulary. In addition, all children experience problem solving and investigative activities.

Across the school, we use ICT and interactive whiteboards to enhance our maths lessons. Where possible we try to link maths to other curriculum subjects.

The IPC – Science and ICT:

  • Science
  • Included in Topic Work
  • Strong focus on practical investigations and developing knowledge and understanding.

Science is taught as part of a wider theme. It is taught as knowledge and through the investigation of wider concepts. Science, as with most areas of the curriculum, must start with the child’s known environment and experience. The children are encouraged to use their senses exploring, sorting and grouping objects in the immediate environment. They begin to be aware of similarities and differences and learn to record their findings in a variety of different ways.

ICT

  • Integrated into all subjects, through use of computers, CD players, video, IWB

Information and Communication Technology (ICT) is the teaching and learning of computer skills and software, the use of digital cameras, music systems etc. ICT skills are taught as an integral part of an area of curriculum.

All classrooms have interactive whiteboards which are used by teachers and pupils to enhance teaching and learning of most subjects.

PSHE (Personal, Social and Health Education):

  • Circle Time
  • Assemblies
  • Intrinsic throughout

Our school philosophy is based on creating an environment in which individuals feel valued and where personal endeavour and responsibility for themselves and others is nurtured. PSHE is fundamental to this. Much PSHE will be carried out by members of staff as incidents and opportunities arise or as an integral part of many curriculum areas. Some aspects of PSHE are addressed through specific PSHE activities. Children are involved in activities that will give them the skills to work constructively in groups and to make and sustain relationships with peers and others and keep themselves safe.

The Curriculum: Topics

  • One over-arching topic each half term
  • Medium Term curriculum information sent home and published on the CES web site
  • Literacy and Numeracy incorporated into the topics to ensure cross-curricular learning


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Housed in an impressive campus in New Cairo, CES has established itself as one of Cairo’s leading schools, providing British based international education that delivers a tailored curriculum. An Esol Education school, CES is part of a network of exceptional international schools around the world in locations such as Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Cairo, Nicosia and Lebanon.

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