What is Early Years Education?
The Education Authority for Northern Ireland defines the meaning and need for early years education, and they set expectations for its provision. Along with the Education Training Inspectorate and local Health and Social Care Trust inspections pre-schools strive to provide a stimulating learning environment to ready children for school.
From the Education Authority
“By the time children are ready to attend preschool, they have already had a variety of experiences and have developed in a number of ways. In order to use and build upon the learning that has already taken place in the home and its immediate environment early years education should provide children with a rich variety of play activities and other experiences in a stimulating and challenging environment.”
- a safe, secure, healthy and stimulating environment where there is adequate supervision.
- opportunities to investigate; satisfy their curiosity; explore the environment inside and outside the playroom; extend their sense of wonder; experience success and develop a positive attitude towards learning.
- appropriate periods of time for learning through sustained involvement in play.
- interaction with sensitive and understanding adults. It is important that children feel secure in their relationships with adults and that they know that the adults are there to support them.
- adults who will treat them as individuals and sensitively participate in their play.
- opportunity to learn without experiencing a sense of failure.
How We Achieve These Goals in Chirpy Chicks
Given the needs mentioned above it follows that young children require us to provide a carefully planned curriculum which meets their physical, social, emotional and cognitive needs. This must be appropriate for their particular stage of development, motivates, challenges and stimulates them and is broad and balanced.
The curriculum should allow children to make choices and provide them with opportunities, through play and other experiences, to develop the learning associated with:
- personal, social and emotional development
- physical development
- creative/aesthetic development
- language development
- early mathematical experiences
- early experiences in science and technology
- knowledge and appreciation of the environment
Our Mission, Vision, and Aims
As well as achieving milestones within the curriculum the pre-school has a guiding set of principles and aspirations for what we want to achieve in Chirpy Chicks. These are defined in our Mission, Vision, and Aims statement below.
Chirpy Chicks Pre-school Playgroup seeks to empower children to take on the world with curiosity, confidence, and positivity.
As well as providing a pre-school curriculum to start children on their journey into education we aspire to more. We will strive to meet our mission statement by focusing on three themes;
Understanding the world
We will give children the opportunity to learn about the environment and how nature works. They will learn to understand people’s role in shaping the climate and experience wildlife in its many forms.
We will guide children to a complete understanding of their emotions and how they affect their decisions. With fun and happiness as the core of everything we do at playgroup, we will present and help children understand the full spectrum of how they can feel through role play and interactive learning.
Understanding our health and wellbeing
We will promote good health through healthy eating and drinking, and give an understanding of the importance and enjoyment of exercise.
Chirpy Chicks will achieve these goals through both the regular elements found in the pre-school curriculum and also through focused special educational events, from trips out to specialist educators coming in to share their knowledge, all with fun at the heart of every activity.
- We will endeavour to provide a happy and relaxed atmosphere where children can have fun, make friends and learn.
- We will provide an environment of positivity where children can develop socially, emotionally and intellectually within the context of play, both independently and with others.
- We will strive to instil independence, self-confidence and a love of playing and learning to help make the transition to school as smooth and enjoyable as possible.
- We will consistently make sure that we provide resources to fit our needs and ensure plentiful opportunities for imaginative and stimulating play.
- We will establish a close working relationship with parents/carers and within the local community, and continually seek to develop and refine how we best achieve this.
- We will ensure equality of access regardless of social or economic background.
- We will develop our staff team, resources and methods making changes as required to ensure we progress successfully into the future.
The entire team at Chirpy Chicks want each and every day to be a fun and rewarding learning experience for the children in our care. By the end of their pre-school year they should be moving up to P1 filled with confidence and a love of learning. We work closely in partnership with all primary schools in our local area to ensure we are guiding the children’s education to flow into the systems they have in place as they transition into more formal schooling. The routines and activities they will be engaging in with new classmates will be second nature allowing them a head start into new adventures in primary school. If you have any questions about how an early years education could benefit your child please don’t hesitate to get in touch.