Knowledge & Understanding

Knowledge and Understanding

Knowledge and Understanding
To enable the children to develop the knowledge, skills, and understanding they need to make sense of the world.

To provide the children with first-hand experiences that encourage observation, exploration, prediction, problem solving, critical thinking, decision making, and discussion.

To provide a range of indoor and outdoor activities that stimulate children’s curiosity and interest.

To provide opportunities for children to become aware of the similarities and differences between themselves and other people and to understand that all people deserve to be treated with respect.

To provide support in helping children communicate and record their observations and predictions orally and in other ways (e.g. drawings or models).

Operating Policy
The curriculum will be implemented in order that the children have opportunities for practical investigation with a wide range of equipment and tools, in structured free-play, individual, group, and adult directed situations.

The children will be encouraged to question, hypothesise, predict and observe, and to form opinions based upon their experiences.

Planning, recording, and assessment
Topic planning takes place on a monthly or half-term basis. Activity planning occurs on a weekly or daily basis. The topic planning and activity planning sheets used by the nursery are laid out to identify each of the areas of learning in the ‘Early Learning Goals’ document. This ensures that Knowledge and Understanding of the World are considered whenever a topic or activity is planned.

Staff are able to observe the children and records of such observations can be made on the children’s personal profile sheets or on activity record sheets.

Samples of the children’s work which relate to Knowledge and Understanding of the World are kept in the child’s individual folder as appropriate.
3`Assessment is carried out through a mixture of informal observation, interaction with the child, the use of the information on record sheets and discussion during regular staff meetings. The information gathered during the assessment process is then used for future planning of activities for each child.

Information gained through recording and assessment will be shared with parents, other school staff and outside agencies as appropriate.

Programme of Work
The programme of work will take the form of a mixture of topic based and general activities. The children will be able to explore properties of materials and tools in an open-ended manner. Parental and community links will be developed to further support learning.

  • The programme of work will include some or all of the following types of activity:

Exploration and Investigation

  • Observation of objects, materials and living things with and without aids such as magnifying glasses, binoculars, and microscopes.
  • Pictures and collages of natural scenes including animals, plants, and trees.
  • Observation of animals and plants both inside and outside the nursery.
  • Free-play with objects and materials that have different purposes and work in different ways (torch, egg whisk, construction toys).
  • Individual and group discussions about the weather and changing seasons.
  • Keeping daily and weekly weather charts.
  • Structured sand-play giving the children opportunities to observe and predict outcomes.
  • Structured water-play giving the children opportunities to observe and predict outcomes.
  • Visits to parks, farm parks, zoos and wildlife parks.
  • Discussion of the children’s findings, allowing them to ask questions and speculate on reasons.

Designing and making skills

  • Using a wide range of materials and tools to make objects relating to topics, experiences, and visits.
  • ‘Junk’ modelling.
  • Collage.
  • Simple measuring activities.
  • The use of construction toys to make models and vehicles.

Information and Communication Technology

  • Discussion about different technological items e.g. telephones, televisions.
  • Role-play using technological items e.g. a telephone discussion between a doctor and a patient.
  • Use of remote control and programmable toys.
  • Provide opportunities for children to investigate how things work by safely taking apart and reassembling technological items.
  • Observation of and discussion about ICT in the environment (e.g. bar-code scanners in supermarkets, traffic lights, mobile phones, TV aerials and satellite TV dishes).
  • Use of computer programs.

 Sense of Time

  • Oral history – discussions about the personal experiences of nursery staff, parents, and grandparents when they were children.
  • Storytelling based on family history.
  • Stories relating to events in the past.
  • Discussion and role-play about special events such as weddings, births, and festivals.
  • Discussions about daily routines.
  • Observation of changes over time (e.g. the seasons)
  • Investigation of items from the past and comparison with present-day equivalents e.g. a modern washing machine and Victorian washing equipment.
  • ‘Guess who is who’ game based on pictures of the children as young babies.
  • Long term growing projects (e.g. sunflowers from seeds)

 Sense of place

  • Discussion about different types of homes.
  • Visits to locations within the local environment – e.g. shops, places of worship, parks, places of work.
  • Individual and group discussions following visits.
  • Provision of play maps and models to enable children to create their own environment.
  • Recording of visits through drawing, painting, and modelling
  • Discussions and stories that involve journeys – home to nursery, home to grandparents home, home to a holiday destination.

 Cultures and Beliefs

  • Stories relating to life in other parts of the country and in other parts of the world.
  • Discussion and role-play about special events in children’s lives such as weddings, births, and festivals.
  • Making and eating food from different cultures.
  • Listening to music from different cultures.
  • Looking at books which show different dress, customs, language, and beliefs.
  • Visits to places of worship.
  • Visits to cultural centres.