Sunday, 25 April 2010

Core Experiences

Core experiences is one of the 'buzzwords' that is popping up more and more lately.  I see it as a version of 'continuous provision' which different early years settings use for their EYFS planning.  If grey is the new black, then continuous provision is the new long term planning!  I think it is particularly suited to child minders because of the number of daily routines or activities that can be linked to all of the areas for learning and development within the EYFS.  As well as considering the core experiences in your continuous provision, you can put in mealtimes, going to the shops, walking to school etc. 

It sounds like just another load of paperwork to create but I think it needn't be like that!!  I am planning to create mine gradually as I go, I have already made a start when I considered how baking linked to all of the areas of the early years foundation stage.  Once written I am going to put them in a folder and parents can see what is on offer, as well using it to aid evaluation of observations and planning of next steps.  It provides a way of reflecting on the resources that you already have and how you might use them, as well as what you would like to add in or remove.  If you don't know the six areas of learning and development well already then you will by the end of your continuous provision planning!!

Some key points about core experiences:
  • Officially there are fourteen of them but you can adapt them to your early years provision.
  • The ideas is that they are areas that the children can access every day or regularly, rather than one-offs.
  • It isn't about making sure that the children use all of the resources and cover all of the fourteen core experiences, but that they can follow their own individual pathway, becoming more skilled and advanced as they go.
  • Children know that the resources will be there and can plan in advance what they would like to do.  This brings children into the planning.
  • It is important that the children can return to their model/picture the next day if they want to, so think about some space to put things so that they can return to it; this shows that you value what they are doing and encourages concentration and perseverance.
Some core experiences to consider:
  • Book area.
  • Cookery.
  • Role-play.
  • Gardening.
  • Outdoor play.
  • Malleable materials (dough etc).
  • Music, dance and movement.
  • Emergent writing and book-making.
  • Painting and colour-mixing.
  • Craft.
  • Sand and water.
  • Construction and block play.
  • Woodwork, modelling and making.
  • Sewing.
  • Small world play.
  • Treasure baskets and heuristic play.
  • Trips and educational visits.

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