Teaching across the Early Years: Curriculum Coherence and Continuity

Teaching across the Early Years: Curriculum Coherence and Continuity

Teaching across the Early Years: Curriculum Coherence and Continuity

Teaching across the Early Years: Curriculum Coherence and Continuity

Synopsis

This practical and accessible book explores ways of developing continuity and coherence in children's learning from three to seven years old. It is based around three case studies in which tutors on Initial Teacher Training courses worked with early years practitioners in three different pre-school settings, each linked to a primary school. The book describes how they successfully managed to plan and teach integrated themes across the age-range in the context of the requirements of the Foundation Stage and the National Curriculum. Each case study has a different focus: * science, design and technology *' the arts' - including an ICT strand * 'the humanities' - including a physical education strand English and mathematics dimensions run through each theme.The book is alive with discussion of children's art, language, drama and music, captured as field notes, writing, drawing, and as video tape. Each chapter concludes with suggestions of ways in which readers can develop the ideas in their own contexts. This book will be invaluable reading for students on Early Years courses, Early Years practitioners, and tutors and mentors in early childhood education.

Excerpt

Dalesview is a first school in a large and lively Yorkshire village surrounded by fields and fells. the school was built in 1973 and is semi-open-plan. When we arrived for our first meeting it was exciting to emerge from a long, dark, windy, and very wet drive over the moors into an entrance area glowing with children's art mingled with the work of mature artists. An image remains of delicious watercolours on heavy rag paper and aesthetically arranged collections of natural objects - and of welcoming teachers, at five o'clock still enthusiastic to talk about their school and our project for next term.

'Yes, we are blessed to work in a beautiful environment', Dawn Harrison, the head teacher, agreed with a colleague from college who was new to the school. 'But do not imagine it is a rural idyll! the children come from a variety of social backgrounds. Some live in the village in traditional stone cottages, many live in new developments of privately owned or council housing and a number live on quite isolated farms. Some parents work in rural occupations; others commute to one of the large towns thirty to forty miles away; others are unemployed.'

There are six classes at Dalesview. Lisa Williams teaches the nursery class in the afternoons. (She teaches a nursery class in another school each morning.) She shares a semi-open plan area with Alison Dowson, the reception class teacher. Gill Wilkins teaches Class 2 ( Years 1 and 2) and Kate Peters teaches Class 3 (a mixed Year 2/3 class). Classes 4 and 5 do not fit into the age phase of our study. Dawn Harrison often works with groups in the central area between the classrooms. She has been head teacher at Dalesview for three years - a new experience after thirteen years in urban schools.

It seemed a good idea to begin our project in Dalesview for two reasons. Firstly, the school and college had for many years worked in a partnership to support the work of trainee teachers placed in the school. 'We feel we know you as friends as well as colleagues', Dawn said. 'That's why we have bravely agreed to try out this new book experience together!' Secondly, the nursery class was already an integral part of the school. Transition from

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