Super Kids Nursery, a British preschool nursery in Dubai, offers an early years foundation stage (EYFS) curriculum enhanced by Montessori education. T
Super Kids Nursery, a British preschool nursery in Dubai, offers an early years foundation stage (EYFS) curriculum enhanced by Montessori education. The school decided on this blended approach for the holistic development of the infants, toddlers and preschoolers in its care.
EYFS is one of the key stages of the National Curriculum for England and the standard that the Super Kids Nursery follows. However, the school also employs the Montessori approach.
The Montessori Approach to Education
Montessori education is child-led, experiential education. Children engage in hands-on and collaborative play activities instead of sitting down to listen to lectures.
In Montessori education, the children direct their learning and proceed according to their interests. Their teacher serves as a facilitator, providing the children with age-appropriate activities and the resources they need to ‘play.’
The Montessori classroom is at the core of Montessori education. Designed for experiential learning, it is a meticulously crafted space where every item has a purpose, designed to develop a specific facet of a child’s development. In a Montessori classroom, children are encouraged to be curious, and their imaginations are given free rein. Children can explore, experience, pick what interests them, and learn at their own pace.
The Montessori philosophy complements the EYFS curriculum perfectly.
At Super Kids Nursery, the Montessori-enhanced EYFS curriculum is a synergistic, blended approach that successfully targets seven developmental areas. These are divided into two distinct categories: the prime and specific areas of learning.
Prime Areas of Development
The prime areas of development equip children with the cognitive, physical and emotional skills they need for academic and life success. The prime areas of development include:
1. Communication and Language
Communication and language are at the heart of early learning. How can a child learn, understand and comprehend if he cannot ask his peers and teachers what he wants to know?
Communication is crucial to a child’s cognitive development. A child also needs words or some other means to communicate if he is to describe the world around him and tell others what he thinks and feels.
The following methods can help children develop their communication and language skills:
- Interaction and Conversation: Back-and-forth dialogues with peers and adults enhance cognitive growth and language development. Simple conversations with adults are constructive. When adults comment on what a child is doing and use a new word to do so, children imitate them and, in doing so, expand their vocabulary.
- Reading: Regular storytelling and engaging children in non-fiction, rhymes and poems add to a child’s vocabulary and improve his listening skills.
- Expressing Ideas: Ask children what they think, what they plan to do and what they are doing. Role playing, storytelling, direct conversations, and any other activity that encourages children to share their thoughts and thought processes give children the opportunity to use their words and hone their communication skills.
2. Physical Development
Physical development is crucial to a child’s development. It is through their body that they can experience and manipulate their world.
It is particularly critical for children to develop their gross and fine motor skills. While the former focuses on strength, coordination, and balance, the latter hones in on precision tasks like handwriting.
The following can help a child develop their gross and fine motor control:
- Play: Indoor and outdoor play activities are not only enjoyable. They help children strengthen their core and enhance their spatial awareness.
- Chores and Daily Routine: These provide children with plenty of opportunities to use their bodies purposefully and productively. These include cleaning up and putting things away. Daily exercises also help keep children fit.
3. Personal, Social and Emotional Development (PSED)
PSED is the cornerstone of a child’s cognitive progression, affecting how they perceive themselves and the world around them.
Relationships are crucial to personal, social, and emotional development. When children know they are supported and feel secure about their value, they are more likely to open up about their feelings. This provides the adults the opportunity to offer practical guidance and help children:
- Manage their emotions
- Develop a positive self-image
- Gain confidence
- Be empowered
- Feel accomplished
- Develop patience, persistence and focus
- Become capable of dealing with and resolving conflicts
Specific Areas of Development
The four specific areas of learning prepare children for subsequent educational stages. The development of these areas, plus those of the three prime areas, ensures a child is fully equipped to thrive in school, at home and beyond.
The four specific areas of development are:
Literacy refers to the ability to read and write. It underpins further learning and has three components:
- Comprehension is essential for understanding words read or heard. Reading books and discussing them with others boost comprehension and can instill a lifelong love of reading.
- Word reading focuses on decoding unfamiliar printed words and recognizing familiar ones promptly.
- Writing encompasses spelling, handwriting and composition. Children articulate ideas in speech before writing them down.
A strong foundation in mathematics is crucial to further education. Mastery of the subject is built from a secure understanding of numbers up to 10 and recognizing patterns within those numbers.
This area of development has two components:
- Numbers: Learning numbers is possible by concentrating on number work and problems that cover counting, addition and subtraction.
- Numerical Patterns: Mastery of numerical patterns involves recognizing and representing patterns, comparing numbers, and discerning differences.
3. Understanding the World
Understanding the world means comprehending the physical world and the community. Activities such as visits to parks, listening to stories, meeting people from other cultures, visiting museums, and watching films and documentaries enrich a child’s understanding of a diverse and complex world.
Developing this area encompasses the following sub-areas:
- People, Culture and Communities: Children learn about diverse cultures, religious beliefs and individual contributions to society.
- The Natural World: Natural world activities introduce children to nature, seasons and living organisms.
- Past and Present: Children must engage in activities that will help them differentiate between the past and the current times.
4. Expressive Arts and Design
Developing this area enables a child’s imagination, creativity and self-expression. You can encourage this through:
- Creation and Experimentation: Encourage children to experiment with various artistic media and materials.
- Imagination and Expression: Support children in using novel or innovative means of articulation and expression.
Super Kids Nursery: Focused on Holistic Development for Children
Super Kids Nursery uses the EYFS curriculum and Montessori education to achieve holistic development for infants, toddlers and preschoolers.
Through its blended approach, it aims to deliver outstanding outcomes in the prime and specific areas of development.