A growing body of research indicates that the first five years are the most important in a child’s development, with eighty-five percent of brain development occurring during this time. A high-quality early years programme can position children for academic success for years to come but, as a parent, how do you know what to look for when it comes to selecting a school for your child?
Effective preschool programs focus on physical, cognitive, language and communication, and social and emotional development. You should look for a program that delivers quality early years programme through a holistic and balanced curriculum and engaging classroom resources that include quality assessment approaches to measure your child’s progress at every stage. Teaching and learning should be play-based and focused on building learners’ skills and confidence in key developmental areas.
Children find a thousand ways of doing and understanding things; parents, school, and teachers simply need to encourage and guide them to excel. An ideal pre-school curriculum should help these young children to learn independently and develop at their own pace while building their confidence and putting in place the seeds that will go on to make them learners for life.
Developmental pathway of a child:
Cambridge Early Years’ programme is one such program that helps learners aged 3 to 6 develop the knowledge, understanding, and skills they need to make the best possible start in life. It gives learners a solid foundation as they start their educational journey. It is designed to meet the needs of young learners in India and is based on international best practices from around the world.
Each child has their own developmental pathway which is conditioned by multiple factors, including their home backgrounds and experiences. Therefore, milestones can never be an accurate indicator of what a child can do. A child’s current level of knowledge, understanding, and skills should be considered when planning their next steps. Cambridge Early Years Programme will help your child develop at their own pace, make their own choices, and build feelings of competence, emotional attachment, and self-worth. The program takes a holistic and balanced approach that focuses on physical, cognitive, language and communication, and social and emotional development. The curriculum provides learning statements that are based on internationally established developmental milestones and designed to be used by schools in India. Overall, the program focuses on the following six areas of development. All these areas are interconnected and are particularly crucial for igniting children’s curiosity and enthusiasm for learning, and for building their capacity to learn, form relationships, and thrive.
Communication, language, and literacy
Speaking, listening, recognizing shapes and figures, playing games, and getting tactile stimulation through arts and crafts along with simple reading, writing and maths are crucial to children’s early development. Introducing children to the importance of language through fun activities and encouraging them to engage with a wide range of texts helps to ignite a lifelong curiosity for learning. Pre-school programs should therefore give children the opportunities to experience a rich language environment; develop their confidence and basic skills in expressing themselves, and speak and listen in a range of situations.
Creative expression allows children to communicate their ideas and develop their imagination through art and design, music, dance, and drama. The programme area should bring together skills and cognitive processes by enabling children to explore and play with a wide range of media and materials, as well as providing opportunities and encouragement for sharing their thoughts, ideas and feelings through a variety of activities.
At an early age, it’s important to help children recognize how mathematics impacts everyday life. Cambridge Early Years Programme introduces children to mathematical language, thinking, and concepts and provides children with opportunities to develop and improve their skills in counting, understanding, and using numbers, along with simple addition and subtraction problems; as well as honing the ability to describe shapes, spaces, and measures.
This area is central to children’s lives. It underpins their well-being and attainment in all other areas of their learning. This area helps them to develop social learning and friendships, regulate their emotional responses and respond to the needs of others, and develop self-esteem and confidence.
The Cambridge Early Years Programme curriculum encourages children to develop movement skills through play, helping them to develop positive attitudes towards exercise and laying the foundations for healthy, active lives. Children are also helped to understand the importance of making healthy choices in relation to food.
Understanding the world
Children’s natural curiosity must be encouraged, so that they are equipped to reflect, question, explore and interact, and guided in their understanding of the world. The programme should lay foundations for a range of different subjects in primary education and beyond, including science, digital literacy, history, geography and religious education.
As a parent you always want to do the right thing for your child and setting them off on the right path through education is hugely important. Choosing a school implies you are putting your child on a long, winding path of learning. Thus, this path needs to be selected carefully and wisely. Whichever programme you choose, it should give your child a solid foundation for primary school – preparing them for success in a more formal learning environment.
Find out more about how Cambridge Early Years Programme education can give your child the best possible start in life. Visit www.cambridgeinternational.org/earlyyears