LITERACY AND LANGUAGE SPACE/LEARNING POD
This learning space is divided into several different areas: The Village of Crowthorne, mark making and The Café. These areas provide a wealth of learning and development opportunities across the seven areas of the EYFS:
Personal, Social, Emotional Development
These spaces provide opportunities for children to make relationships, build their self-confidence and self-esteem in their own ability and manage feelings and behaviour by sharing, taking turns and listening to others feelings. They can bring their own storyline to their play and during play children can interact positively with each other and increase their social competence and emotional maturity (Smilansky and Shefatya (1990)). Play helps children to share toys and experiences and learn how to take turns by responding to their friend’s feelings (Sapon-Shevin, Dobbelgere, Carrigan, Goodman, & Mastin, 1998; Wheeler, 2004).
“Play is vital to children’s social development. Practice both verbal and nonverbal communication skills by negotiating roles, trying to gain access to ongoing play, and appreciating the feelings of others” （Spodek & Saracho, 1998）. (http://www.education.com/reference/article/importance-play–social-emotional/)
Communication and Language
These spaces provide enabling environments where children can recreate situations and develop their language ability, whilst listening to others and taking account of each other’s feelings. Children can recreate familiar situations from home in a safe environment. Children feel relaxed whilst playing and will therefore communicate more freely at the early stages of language development. Play helps with language acquisition (Sachs, 1984) as there is no pressure, just fun. (http://www.education.com/reference/article/importance-play/)
In role play, children develop their communication and language and as they talk about what they are doing, initially using just one or two-words and later developing conversation, having to take turns, negotiate and listen to the ideas of others to imagine and create roles and scenarios. (https://www.early-education.org.uk/sites/default/files/Final%20Version%20Core%20Experiences%20booklet.pdf)
Mark making gives children the opportunity to develop their fine motor skills. Initially they will start by creating larger mark making movements and refine these as they gain greater control with pencils, pens and brushes. The natural progression in small motor development is from scribbles to shapes and forms to representational pictures. Our role is support their creativity and celebrate each stage as they use language to express their work. This can be done by offering a wide variety of resources from sand, paints, crayons, pencils, writing aids, and envelopes, anything that may encourage and stimulate their interest.(http://www.foundationyears.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2011/10/Mark_Marking_Matters.pdf)
Role play supports their physical development, through outdoor roleplay involving running and climbing, and through developing their fine motor skills to dress babies, put on dressing up clothes and put home-corner and picnic items in and out of boxes and cupboards.
Through their play, young children explore imaginary and abstract worlds, making meaning through story making, mark making and drawing. (http://www.foundationyears.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2011/10/Mark_Marking_Matters.pdf)
Children develop their problem-solving, reasoning and numeracy by exploring size, placement and quantities – which clothes fit which dolls, for example, setting the table, and hanging up dressing-up clothes. In role play children can use numbers, counting the number of people at the picnic, deciding how many plates and how much food to pack, or counting up the aliens who are dead on the ground. It can provide a context for children to expand their knowledge and understanding of the world, as they imagine different events and explore different roles and jobs. (https://www.early-education.org.uk/sites/default/files/Final%20Version%20Core%20Experiences%20booklet.pdf)
Expressive Arts and Design
Imaginative play not only aids intellectual development but also improves children’s social skills and their creativity. In addition it gives children a chance to play out events that they have observed or experienced in real life. (http://www.teachpreschool.org/2011/06/role-play-in-early-years/)
In role play children can use their imagination to devise and act out storylines, put together sequences of movements, and develop ideas with others.
Understanding of the World
Role play allows children to recreate familiar experiences and then build on these shared experiences with others. They may notice similarities and differences with others and help them to understand what is unique about themselves. They can share experiences and make friends through play.
The Village of Crowthorne
We would like to introduce you to the village of Crowthorne. Wellington College UK is located in the village and we decided to recreate the village with a few differences. The art work was designed by our volunteer Lorna and the children have helped to decorate the village scene. The children are able to arrange and change the village by driving the school bus, fire engine and flying the aeroplane. The setting will change over time as interesting additions arrive, maybe dinosaurs or sea creatures. Children really love playing in this area, pretending to drive and using their imagination to change how the village looks.
Our Mark Making Area
Where children feel their creativity is valued and respected they will become prolific mark makers. Children love to be creative and demonstrate what they can achieve in mark making, mathematical graphics, writing and drawing and this promotes their self-esteem.
The Café – Role play
Welcome to our café! Children enjoy playing and pretending, they learn to look after resources, tidy up learning The Wellington values of respect and responsibility. Menus are created and children decide what role they want and the experience begins.