What do we do when children achieve the Early Learning Goals whilst still in the pre-school classroom?
At Shrewsbury Prepatoria we have never been happy to settle for, ‘good’ or ‘good enough’. We don’t want children to simply achieve the expected milestones we want to challenge them to go beyond the norm. For us, this means not dumbing down the environment, or our language, not delivering a mediocre curriculum but instead delivering a high-quality curriculum which challenges thinking, actions, understanding and skills. And, in our experience, children thrive in this environment. Year on year our formal assessments of children confirms that this approach is successful, with more than 80% of children exceeding expectations! That’s quite something and our recent Ofsted inspections highlighted this too. Our Inspector said, “Teaching is exceptional. Well-qualified staff use their knowledge and experience to make excellent use of accurate assessments of children’s progress” and, “children make rapid progress from their starting points”
However, children who make, ‘exceptional progress’ also present teachers with a challenge. Our Spring Term Assessments and Reports identified that a group of our current Pre-school children have already achieved the Early Learning Goals (ELG’s) in a number of areas. Children are expected to achieve these at the end of the Reception Year, so this means that these children are 18 months ahead of their peers. So, what do we teach them next and how do we ensure they continue to make progress yet prepare them for school? We could look at the National Curriculum, select relevant and appropriate statements and deliver these. However, those who know me will know that I’m no fan of the National Curriculum at all, but I’ll leave that discussion for another time!
So, instead, I have looked at each area of the learning and development statements in the EYFS and have written new and exciting extension activities for each area. These new topics present us with such an exciting opportunity to teach children new life skills, such as photography and 3D modelling but also provide opportunity to teach children to question, in simple ways, the difference between morally right and legally right and how order is maintained.
Interested? Take a look at these new extension statements here.