THE EARLY YEARS

The early years of life are very important for the social, emotional, cognitive and physical development of a child. A carefully crafted learning environment that combines a wide range of indoor and outdoor activities nurtures this growth and provides a solid foundation from which literacy and numeracy skills are learnt.

Social                                                      

  • developing the skills that enable children to relate to others   
  • learning responsibility
  • being aware of social values
  • and having a sense of who they are

Children learn this through sharing, taking turns and considering the needs and feelings of others, being inclusive and playing with everyone. Developing confidence about their own abilities, approaching new activities with positivity, feeling secure.

Examples: Singing, Dancing, Dress-Up, Creative Craft

Emotional

  • learning how to express their emotions and control their behaviour
  • understanding the difference between right and wrong
  • teaching children how to express and interpret emotions

Being supportive and responsive to children’s needs builds trust, support and makes children feel secure and confident.  Listening to children’s ideas and opinions, allowing children to initiate activities, being flexible to accommodate children’s needs.  Children will feel competent, respected and motivated to learn.

Examples: I Spy, Drawing, Play Dough, Water/sand Play

Cognitive

  • processing information
  • understanding and developing decision making skills
  • being aware of the world around us

Children become confident learners when they achieve success. As we go through our daily lives we gain knowledge, improve our ability to learn, use our memory as a guide, analyse our surroundings and develop problem-solving skills that make us more effective when facing difficult situations.

Examples: Puzzles, Dominoes, Memory, Dot to Dot, Hide and Seek.

Physical

  • mastering co-ordination
  • developing strength and flexibility
  • learning fine manipulative control

Physical development covers Gross motor skills - the coordination and control of large muscles (walking, sitting and running) and fine motor skills - the coordination and control of small muscles (picking up crumbs and holding a pencil). Both are just as important as each other.

Examples: Jumping, Hopping, Hopscotch, Pedal/Steer a Tricycle, Stacking objects, Picking up small items like coins or tooth picks.

The combination of environment and program will provide a basis for creative thinking and language development, social and emotional development, large motor and small motor physical development and self-help development.

At Sunnyside Chester Hill we value each child’s individuality and give every child time to learn and develop skills at their own pace.