Our toddler programme should have laid the cognitive and linguistic foundations from which our preschool curriculum can spring. Here we really focus more on Understanding the World, as a core focus of our provision and educational ethos, and deliver an educational programme that focuses on four pillars which structure a child's development in line with the skills, knowledge, attitudes and capabilities required to deliver what children need for the future.
Teaching & Learning Outcomes
Our Regional Themes
Each month, we investigate the people, places, plant life, animals, objects and activities of a particular region and culture. It is a central theme that allows the teachers to research the literature, myths, songs and stories; the arts, crafts, ceramics and textiles from a region. It also allows the chef to look into the cuisine for cookery classes and so much more. These regional themes are launch pads that enable our teachers to interpret and interrogate them in whatever way the children want to pursue it.
Arctic & Polar Regions
In January, we investigate the colder climates and cultures of the world - the Sami and Inuit peoples and what life is like for the animals and peoples of the Arctic and Polar regions. It's a time for snow, ice, polar bears and penguins and how we can change our behaviour to safeguard the icecaps and ecosystems of the poles.
China & East Asia
In February we look to the "Confucian" cultures of East Asia -China, Korea and Japan- to look into their mythologies, languages and cultural traditions in the arts, cuisine and storytelling. There is such magic to be found in those stories - dragons and immortals, monkey kings and kung fu... all inspiring stuff for young minds.
UK & Northern Europe
In March, we look at the United Kingdom and Northern Europe -France, Germany, Holland and Belgium- with their cuisine, culture, customs and cities front and centre of our thematic learning.
In April, we turn to the Roman and Hellenic cultures of southern Europe: Italy, Greece, Spain and Portugal. We explore the wonderful food that the sunnier parts of Europe produce and the histories and mythologies of some of their greatest thinkers.
Southeast Asia & India
As we move into the summer months, we start to investigate the Hindu and Buddhist traditions of Southeast Asia and the Subcontinent. We learn about the rich food, the vibrant colours and climate, and the wonderful mythologies of Hindu and Buddhist legends.
Russia, Eastern Europe & Central Asia
We look to Eastern Europe, Russia and Central Asia in June to understand the lives of the people of the Steppes and Central Plains, the Slavic traditions and those of the nomadic cultures of the grasslands of central Asia.
For such a large place, one month seems too little to investigate such a richly diverse region in full. Our teachers can pick and choose a specific focus within the region to investigate with the children - the Massai of East Africa; the Yoruba of West Africa; the Berbers of the North; or the Zulu of the South, to name a few.
Australasia & the Pacific Rim
In August, we investigate the cultures of the Pacific islands of the south - the Maori, Hawaiians and Fijians; Tongans and the Aboriginal peoples of Australia, and how maritime culture and history are deeply rooted in their traditions and myths.
We look into the cultures of the Middle East and the Muslim world, from old Arabia and Persia through to the modern day, observing the landscapes and the desert traditions of the Bedouin.
In October we look into North America -the USA and Canada- and their cultural traditions, stories, histories and breathtaking landscapes. We look at the Native Americans and their rich oral, agrarian and artistic traditions.
South & Central America
In November, we look at South and Central America, looking at the rich diversity of customs and culture across the region, the dance forms, vibrant colours in textiles and the richness of the cuisine and oral traditions. We look at the Amazon and what we can do to protect it.
In December, we look into the cultural traditions of Northern Europe - the Scandinavians, Vikings and Saxons, their mythologies and fables, landscapes and languages.
The Importance of Routine
Our flexible routine allows our teachers to adapt the sessions to fit the needs of the children - we don't stop children from engaging in their activities if they're engaged, but rather use the circle times that introduce each activity block to introduce the theme for the week, and to discuss what we may have learnt in our previous activity block so we can plan how to take the learning further in different avenues....and then we watch the magic happen!