Knowledge and Understanding of the World relates to children’s everyday lives, their homes, families, other people, the local environment and community, and the wider world. There are three main areas in this area of learning -
Places and people (i.e. early Geography)
To support the development of children’s skills and knowledge of ‘Places and people’ the following are key areas and experiences:
- Talk about their home, where they live, make a model with construction equipment or draw their house, describing and recording their journey to school pictorially.
- A walk in the local area is perfect. Take photos along the way.
- Children should start with knowledge and understanding gained from visits in their locality when comparing and contrasting places such as the beach, town or country.
- Children can show their experiences by drawing, painting, model making or using appropriate the computer.
- Using remote-controlled equipment.
Time and people (i.e. early History)
To support the development of children’s skills and knowledge of ‘Time and people’ the following are key areas and experiences:
- Sequence events in their day by using photographs, and by recording their ideas in pictures and booklets.
- Using photographs they take themselves (both indoors and outdoors) children can progress to sequencing events in the week and for longer periods.
- Talk about photographs of parents, grandparents and earlier generations. Encourage children to explore and ask questions about past times and events.
- Talk about your own childhood or school days with the children. This will enable children to develop their knowledge and understanding of ways of life in different times, to engage in two-way conversations.
- Stories can also help children to understand the concept of old and new, and the influence of past events and characters.
- Visits to local museums and historic sites can help children to gain a greater understanding of the buildings and ways of life.
Myself and other living things (i.e. early Science - Biology)
To support the development of children’s skills and knowledge of ‘Myself and other living things’, the following are key areas and experiences:
- Action rhymes and songs will allow children to build their understanding and vocabulary for describing the main parts of their bodies.
- Observing their reflections in mirrors, making comparisons and talking about the visible similarities and differences between themselves and other children.
- Give children experiences to discover that animals, including humans, move, need food and water, as well as grow and reproduce.
- Encourage children to experiment by learning to use their senses to discriminate between different sounds, tastes, smells and textures, as well as to recognise differences visually.
- Use magnifiers and observe other living things such as minibeasts collected in the local environment.
- Practical activities such as digging, planting, and looking after seeds and observing their growth, will lead to knowledge of parts of a plant as well as understanding that plants are living things that need water to grow.
Myself and non-living things (i.e. early Science - Physics)
To support the development of children’s skills and knowledge of ‘Myself and non-living things’ the following are key areas and experiences:
- In exploratory play and through problem solving children should discover the different properties of the natural materials sand, water, wood and clay.
- Encourage creative play with malleable materials children will discover, by stretching, squashing, bending or twisting, that some materials can be moulded into different shapes.
- Explore and investigate the properties of materials from which everyday objects such as toys or clothing are made, and to acquire relevant vocabulary to describe them and begin to link the materials with their uses.
- Children will learn from first-hand experiences (such as cooking activities) to observe and describe the changes that occur in some everyday materials when heated or cooled, or when materials are mixed.
- In physical play with large- and small-wheeled toys, children experiment and begin to learn that a push or a pull can make something speed up, slow down or change direction. Children begin to use appropriate vocabulary that relates to forces.
- Go out on a sunny day and observe the effects of sunlight and investigating the effects of light using torches and lamps in darkened spaces, children will develop understanding of light, darkness and shadows, and will begin to predict about the possible effects of different conditions.
- Games and experiments with sound will enable children to begin to understand how sound travels. They will enjoy creating their own ‘telephones’ with recycled materials, making decisions and solving problems together.