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What do 4/5 year olds do at school?

(15 Posts)
GoingLoopy Sat 16-May-09 21:44:46

DS1 is starting kindergarten in Switzerland in August (He will be 4yrs6m). I think they just play at kindergarten and start proper school at 6/7 years.
I'm curious what kids do at his age in the UK.

mumtoone Sat 16-May-09 21:56:01

My ds is 5 and in reception in the UK so I will let you know what I think he does. In reception they learn by play with a relatively small amount of structured activity. I know my ds's favourite activity is water play. They also do things like listening to stories, phonics, arts, crafts, using the computer, role play, PE, numeracy, guided reading, early stages of writing, puzzles etc. I hope that helps. In year 1 (age 5-6) the learning gets more formal with a greater focus on literacy and numeracy and less learning by play.

smellen Sat 16-May-09 21:59:51

IF they're in pre-school, it's pretty much free play, some stories get read, they plant seeds in pots, do art/craft activities, sand/water play, climbing ,running around etc. It's usually laid out on various tables around a room for kids to access independently and for the amount of time they want. Formally there is an "early years curriculum" so you could probably google it for a copy, but take it with a pinch of sort - most activities are probably common sense stuff you'd do with kids of that age, but the playworkers just have to tick boxes to make sure they have covered areas such as language development, physically strength, social interaction etc.

BananaFruitBat Sat 16-May-09 22:03:15

I've yet to find out. Every time I ask DS what he's been doing at school he always says "I can't remember". He is very precise about what he's eaten though.

mrz Sat 16-May-09 22:14:32

It depends on which part of the UK. All 4 countries have different curriculum and slightly different approaches. England has EYFS, Wales has the Foundation Phase, Scotland has Curriculum for Excellence and Northern Ireland have the Foundation Stage.

GoingLoopy Sat 16-May-09 22:16:51

Thanks all, interesting. I know they don't start reading or numeracy here until they start school at 6/7. Curious as to what he will be doing.

BFB, lol, sounds like my ds1 when he has been somewhere and I ask him what he has been doing !

mrz Sat 16-May-09 22:32:07

The English EYFS applies to children Birth to Five
Children's learning and competence in communicating, speaking and listening, being read to and beginning to read and write must be supported and extended. They must be provided with opportunity and encouragement to use their skills in a range of situations and for a range of purposes, and be supported in developing the confidence and disposition to do so.
Aspects of Communication, Language and Literacy

Communication, Language and Literacy is made up of the following aspects:

Language for Communication - is about how children become communicators. Learning to listen and speak emerges out of non-verbal communication, which includes facial expression, eye contact and hand gesture. These skills develop as children interact with others, listen to and use language, extend their vocabulary and experience stories, songs, poems and rhymes.

Language for Thinking - is about how children learn to use language to imagine and recreate roles and experiences and how they use talk to clarify their thinking and ideas or to refer to events they have observed or are curious about.

Linking Sounds and Letters - is about how children develop the ability to distinguish between sounds and become familiar with rhyme, rhythm and alliteration. They develop understanding of the correspondence between spoken and written sounds and learn to link sounds and letters and use their knowledge to read and write simple words by sounding out and blending.

Reading - is about children understanding and enjoying stories, books and rhymes, recognising that print carries meaning, both fiction and fact, and reading a range of familiar words and simple sentences.

Writing - is about how children build an understanding of the relationship between the spoken and written word and how through making marks, drawing and personal writing children ascribe meaning to text and attempt to write for various purposes.

Handwriting - is about the ways in which children's random marks, lines and drawings develop and form the basis of recognisable letters.

Children must be supported in developing their understanding of Problem Solving, Reasoning and Numeracy in a broad range of contexts in which they can explore, enjoy, learn, practise and talk about their developing understanding. They must be provided with opportunities to practise and extend their skills in these areas and to gain confidence and competence in their use.
Aspects of Problem Solving, Reasoning and Numeracy

Problem Solving, Reasoning and Numeracy is made up of the following aspects:

Numbers as Labels and for Counting - is about how children gradually know and use numbers and counting in play, and eventually recognise and use numbers reliably, to develop mathematical ideas and to solve problems.

Calculating - is about how children develop an awareness of the relationship between numbers and amounts and know that numbers can be combined to be 'added together' and can be separated by 'taking away' and that two or more amounts can be compared.

Shape, Space and Measures - is about how through talking about shapes and quantities, and developing appropriate vocabulary, children use their knowledge to develop ideas and to solve mathematical problems.

thecaty Thu 21-May-09 00:38:04

In switzerland they start some literacy in some kindergartens and there is talk of combining ages 5 to eight where also numeracy would be included in a broad curiculum, So my Sister tells me, she has been a Kindergarten teacher for 28 years in Switzerland.
I am a Steiner Waldorf teacher and our 4/5 year olds are involved in learning through play, singing songs mainly seasonal, role play is encouraged, gardening, nature stories
and only natural play equipment.

bicci Thu 21-May-09 09:21:47

I think , when stated like that, the EYFS doesn't look so bad. It seems flexible enough in range, for instance, writing as making marks and drawing seems very sensible and actually what comes naturally to some dcs.

There's emphasis on play, listening to stories etc.

mrz, are you a teacher?
What do you think about the EYFS?

I'm not sure about childminders having to subscribe to it, but it seems quite reasonable.

mrz Thu 21-May-09 18:22:55

bicci yes I'm a teacher and I'm not a fan of EYFS in so much as I think it is morally wrong to have a curriculum for babies and I agree that childminders shouldn't be expected to follow it.
My nursery nurse is looking for a childminder as she is planning to return to work after the birth of her daughter and has rejected those with beautiful EYFS folders as she says she wants some to give her little girl cuddles not evaluate her development...

bicci Thu 21-May-09 20:31:46

yes, I agree about the babies of course it's madness.

But 3 4 year olds are often ready to make marks and listen to and enjoy stories and rhymes. The talking about numeracy couldbe something as simple as sharing out differnt types of fruit, or putting zoo animals in a different box from cars.

It's this pedantic box ticking bureacratic jargon which looks so absurd.

Much of it would surely be down to the teachers and how they approached it?

mrz Thu 21-May-09 20:34:19

I've not got a problem with the 3-5 part (after all we had the Foundation Stage Curriculum Guidance) I just think birth to three should have been kept separate and if anything Foundation stage extended into KS1 as Wales have done.

oneforward20back Mon 08-Jun-09 06:33:51

OMG my ds is going to be so disappointed. He thinks he will be having lots of proper lessons when he starts school. He hates playing - and can't wait to be reading/writing/maths etc to the point where I am beginning to wonder what there is going to be left for him to learn in that line in spet. Can't stop him he practises in secret. he is driven. Argh!

Portofino Mon 08-Jun-09 06:57:50

DD is at Maternelle in Brussels - she is just 5. As far as I can see it all learning through play but in a structured way.

There is rota for "jobs". Telling the weather forecast, feeding the fish, being the postman etc On a Monday they discuss what they did over the weekend.

They have a "theme" - weather, farms, baking etc and explore it through stories, crafts and painting, trips, cooking etc

They've learnt to write their name. They do a lot "co-ordination" activities eg making connection between pictures, cutting things out, colouring in the right number of objects etc.

The little ones sleep at lunchtime whilst the bigger ones play outside. The afternoons tend to be more free play and stories. They do gym once a week.

spinspinsugar Mon 08-Jun-09 07:18:12

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

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