EARLY YEARS FOUNDATION STAGES
Our age specific classes aim to encourage the child to develop key skills in a progressive manner, helping them to explore areas of the Early Years Foundation Stages and to prepare them in readiness for school. Our class leaders are experienced in adapting the programme to suit the specific needs of the group making our classes accessible for everyone.
Communication and Language – music and singing are fundamental in helping a child develop early language skills. Repetition and the phonic sounds found in nursery rhymes and other children’s songs help children to establish basic speech patterns. Every week we sing unaccompanied well known nursery rhymes such as baa baa black sheep to remind the grown ups of them and we produce a take home sheet to remind them of the words. We also have some songs which we use every week to encourage repetition. Signing can help fuse neurons in the brain to reach a secondary speech pocket which can help overcome speech impediments such as stammers.
We discuss our themes and talk about the sensory materials we explore, we ask interactive questions such as what sound does a sheep make? Or what colour is this instrument? This helps to encourage the child to participate and communicate in a large group and/or with their grown ups. In our baby classes we encourage the grown ups to describe things to the babies.
Listening and Attention – One of the key aspects of our classes are listening and copying. We give clear instructions to the actions and movement of the songs, both before and during the song, ensuring the children and parents know what to do and to engage them in the interaction of the song. We also encourage using an instrument to play in time with the music. We aim to keep the classes quite fast paced to ensure we retain the attention of the child. We do this by swapping from standing to sitting, using different instruments, actions and props and giving them some free play with the sensory equipment, this all aids in further developing their attention span.
Mathmatics - The foundation of music is maths! When children learn rhythm, they are learning ratios, fractions and proportions. In its simplest form, when we play with the instruments we learn to count the beats in the bar (normally 3 and 4). We also use many different songs that involve counting, addition or subtraction for example 3 little monkey, where one falls off we take 1 away from 3 to get 2 etc. We also use simple counting songs like 12345 once I caught a fish alive. We also use counting when we do our box song, getting the children to count on their fingers. The language in some songs also helps to describe size, shape and comparisons of other objects.
Physical Development - Many of our songs are energetic and physical and help children to learn how to move and react to different types of music. We use lots of songs about different parts of our body which enables the child to learn about themselves. Every session involves several actions song helping the child move with control and coordination and help to develop balance. Our props and instruments also help with co ordination and the ability to move with control and balance. We also like to get the children up and moving around to help burn some
calories. Our sensory section often encourages the use of fine motor skills with tipping and pouring, mark making and exploring different textures, smells and enhancing their general senses.
Creating and thinking critically – We encourage the children to explore the instruments and props and experiment with different techniques and ways of expressing themselves. We often have free play where the children can develop their own ideas and strategies for doing things. With the instruments we give them room to improvise and play how or when they like. We also use bubbles to let them explore and play and encourage free movement to different genres of music. In our sensory section we use all different types of textures, sounds, smells, objects, mediums and resources, to let them explore the world around them, and experiment with new things.
Memory – We encourage the children to remember actions to complicated songs, which we learn over several weeks. The children need to learn the actions and as the weeks progress we give them less direction. Our classes always start with the same songs and our percussion instrument sections are always introduced with our box song. This repetition helps develop the child’s memory through familiarity and recognition.
Personal Social and Emotional Development – Our classes enable a child to share, take turns and work with other children and their grown ups through the use of sensory materials, props and instruments. The classes routine structure encourages listening and concentration. Themes such as feelings and emotions encourage the discussion of as do specific songs such as if you are happy and you know it. Social interaction with other children is encouraged during our sensory section, where they learn to share, take turns and interact together. Coming up to collect props and instruments also helps develop their confidence.
All our classes are planned and we can provide you with copies of our EYFS planning. Here is an example of one of our class planning programmes.
Tip of week: What colours can you see around you?
Things that particular worked well:
Things to repeat: