Plan opportunities which support children’s understanding of the world

Qualification: NCFE CACHE Level 3 Diploma for the Early Years Educator
Unit: Unit 3.4: Contribute to enabling play environments
Learning outcome: Be able to plan and lead opportunities which support children’s understanding of the world
Assessment criteria: Plan opportunities which support children’s understanding of the world

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One of the four specific areas of learning is Understanding the World. The EYFS framework describes this as:

Understanding the world involves guiding children to make sense of their physical
world and their community. The frequency and range of children’s personal
experiences increases their knowledge and sense of the world around them –
from visiting parks, libraries and museums to meeting important members of
society such as police officers, nurses and firefighters. In addition, listening to a
broad selection of stories, non-fiction, rhymes and poems will foster their
understanding of our culturally, socially, technologically and ecologically diverse
world. As well as building important knowledge, this extends their familiarity with
words that support understanding across domains. Enriching and widening
children’s vocabulary will support later reading comprehension.

EYFS

Furthermore, the EYFS sets out more detailed Early Learning Goals for children in relation to this area:

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ELG: Past and Present
Children at the expected level of development will:

– Talk about the lives of the people around them and their roles in society;
– Know some similarities and differences between things in the past and now, drawing on their experiences and what has been read in class;
– Understand the past through settings, characters and events encountered in books read in class and storytelling.

ELG: People, Culture and Communities
Children at the expected level of development will:
– Describe their immediate environment using knowledge from observation, discussion, stories, non-fiction texts and maps;
– Know some similarities and differences between different religious and cultural communities in this country, drawing on their experiences and what has been read in class;
– Explain some similarities and differences between life in this country and life in other countries, drawing on knowledge from stories, non-fiction texts and – when appropriate – maps.

ELG: The Natural World
Children at the expected level of development will:

– Explore the natural world around them, making observations and drawing pictures of animals and plants;
– Know some similarities and differences between the natural world around them and contrasting environments, drawing on their experiences and what has been read in class;
– Understand some important processes and changes in the natural world around them, including the seasons and changing states of matter.

EYFS

This area of learning can be compared with the humanities subjects that are learned at school (e.g. history, geography, religious education etc.)

For this assessment criterion, you will be required to plan learning opportunities that support a child’s understanding in this domain.

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Some of the learning opportunities that you may want to consider include:

  • A trip to a local museum
  • A trip to a local recreation area or country park
  • A nature walk and scavenger hunt
  • Tasting food from different cultures
  • Visits from members of the local community, such as the Police or Firefighters
  • Talking about and experiencing different kinds of weather (e.g. playing in the snow or jumping in puddles)
  • Reading stories set in historical backgrounds
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