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Early Years

Our Early Years Program provides a safe and child-centred learning environment that is culturally and developmentally appropriate. It contributes to the holistic growth of students while helping them develop the skills to be ready for primary education. Teachers place a strong emphasis on play-based, practical learning in a language-rich environment. We follow the UK’s ‘Early Years Foundation Stage’ (EYFS) when preparing for lesson content, which includes teacher-led activities and independent play. The activities and experiences of our students are determined by the 7 areas of learning and development of the EYFS. At the end of Kindergarten, students are assessed according to 17 early learning goals. ​

EYFS Areas of Learning and Development 

  • Communication and language

  • Personal, social and emotional development

  • Physical development

  • Literacy

  • Mathematics

  • Understanding the world

  • Expressive arts and design

Early Years Learning Groups at GGT

There are four learning groups in our Early Years section, which is determined by the age of the children when Term 1 begins.

  • Elephants (daycare for 2-3 year-old children)

  • Squirrels (3-4 year-old children)

  • Owls (4-5 year-old children)

  • Tigers (5-6 year-old children)

Areas of the curriculum covered include:

  • Phonemic awareness and phonics (following the UK’s Read Write Inc. order of sounds)

  • Storytelling

  • Science (for Tigers class only)

  • Storywriting (for Tigers class only)

  • Independent Writing/mark making (for younger classes)

  • Mathematics

  • Social skills/Circle Time

  • Read Aloud

  • Arts and crafts

  • Gross and fine motor skill activities

  • Free Choice Time (opportunities for children to practise the skills they learn in lesson time)

Three children using a slide

Early Years teachers place a strong emphasis on language skills. From a young age, children learn to join in and retell nursery rhymes and traditional stories. We initially build early reading skills (phonemic awareness) with our Squirrels learning group so our children have a strong foundation and are ready to learn phonics (for reading and writing) in subsequent years. 

 

Mathematics is taught in a very practical way, with children using a wide range of objects for counting, adding, subtracting, sorting, ordering and comparing. We follow the UK’s White Rose Mathematics Framework and use planning guidance from Master the Curriculum. 

 

Tigers pupils (known as K3/reception/kindergarten) have weekly science lessons. Children are encouraged to be curious about the world around them and conduct simple investigations. Teachers follow the curriculum from Inquisitive (Australia). 

 

Tigers learning group also has weekly library lessons where they are able to borrow a picture book of their choice to enjoy at home during the family read-aloud time. They also have regular reading homework (at their level), such as reading sounds, words or a phonics reading book provided by the teacher. This is done to promote a culture of and love for reading in the home as well as to sharpen the child’s skills. Children also have their own accounts for two online programs (Phonics Hero and Mathletics), which they use both at GGT and at home on a device. 

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