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The Education (Curriculum Minimum Content) Order (Northern Ireland) 2007

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PART 2Foundation Stage

LANGUAGE AND LITERACY

The minimum content for Language and Literacy is set out below.

Teachers should enable children to develop knowledge, understanding and skills in:

TALKING AND LISTENING

Pupils should be enabled to develop:

  • attention and listening skills through:

    • listening to a wide range of stories, poems, songs and music;

    • following instructions;

    • identifying environmental sounds;

    • repeating familiar phrases/sound sequences;

    • recalling sequence and detail.

  • phonological awareness through:

    • responding to a steady beat;

    • identifying words in phrases and sentences;

    • identifying syllables;

    • identifying and generating rhymes;

    • identifying and manipulating phonemes.

  • social use of language through:

    • observing modelled behaviours;

    • understanding non-verbal signals;

    • talking with adults and other pupils;

    • initiating and joining in conversations in pairs or groups;

    • working in different groupings;

    • adopting or assuming a role relevant to context.

  • language and thinking through:

    • talking about experiences, pictures and stories;

    • talking about their work, play and things they have made;

    • naming;

    • recalling;

    • sequencing;

    • predicting;

    • asking and answering questions;

    • describing;

    • explaining;

    • sharing their thoughts, feelings and ideas with different audiences;

    • taking part/contributing to group oral language activities.

  • an extended vocabulary through:

    • listening and responding to adults and peers;

    • an immersion in the language of books, both fiction and non-fiction;

    • focused experiences to introduce or generate vocabulary.

Progression

As pupils progress through the Foundation Stage they should be enabled to:

  • express themselves with increasing clarity and confidence, using a growing vocabulary and more complex sentence structure;

  • understand and use social conventions in conversations and pupil initiated interactions;

  • initiate and sustain conversations with adults and peers in the classroom;

  • retell stories, events or personal experiences in sequence with reasonable detail;

  • answer questions to give information and demonstrate understanding;

  • ask questions to find information or seek an explanation;

  • offer reasons to support opinions given;

  • listen with increasing attentiveness and for longer periods of time;

  • listen to and carry out increasingly complex instructions.

READING

Through modelled, shared and guided reading sessions pupils should be enabled to:

  • read with some independence;

  • read a range of texts including electronic texts and those composed by themselves and others;

  • sequence stories in reasonable detail using appropriate language;

  • use word structure to develop reading;

  • develop auditory discrimination and memory;

  • develop visual discrimination and memory;

  • share a range of books with adults/other pupils;

  • know how to handle and care for books;

  • understand and use some language associated with books;

  • select and use books for specific purposes;

  • develop concepts of print;

  • listen to a range of stories, poems and non-fiction texts read to them by adults/other pupils.

Progression

As pupils progress through the Foundation Stage they should be enabled to:

  • understand that words are made up of sounds and syllables and that sounds are represented by letters (phoneme/grapheme awareness);

  • recognise different types of text and identify specific features of some genres;

  • read and follow simple instructions;

  • use a range of reading cues with increasing independence and begin to self-correct;

  • read on sight, some words in a range of meaningful contexts;

  • begin to read with expression in response to print variations and punctuation;

  • use extended vocabulary when discussing text, re-telling stories or in their emergent writing;

  • make links between personal experience and the text;

  • make and give reasons for predictions;

  • understand the purpose of and use environmental print;

  • browse and choose books for a specific purpose.

WRITING

Through modelled, shared and guided writing sessions pupils should be enabled to:

  • distinguish between drawing and writing;

  • talk about the ideas represented in their drawings.

  • understand that writing is a means of communication and can be used for different purposes;

  • share their writing with others;

  • see themselves and the teacher as ‘writers’;

  • observe the teacher modelling specific writing strategies;

  • use ICT to present and communicate their ideas.

Progression

As pupils progress through the Foundation Stage they should be enabled to:

  • write without prompting and make decisions about how and what they will write;

  • use rhymes, poems and patterned stories as models for structuring their own writing;

  • write in a range of genres with teacher guidance;

  • begin to problem-solve how to write using sound-symbol correspondence as the first strategy;

  • begin to show evidence of sequence in recount and instructions;

  • use a wide range of vocabulary in their writing;

  • begin to demarcate sentences;

  • begin to use capital letters for the pronoun ‘I’, for names and at the start of a sentence;

  • show increased control over formation of lower and upper-case letters, size and spacing.

MATHEMATICS AND NUMERACY

The minimum content for Mathematics and Numeracy is set out below.

Teachers should enable children to develop knowledge, understanding and skills in:

NUMBER:

Understanding Number

Pupils should be enabled to:

  • count a variety of objects;

  • develop an understanding of one-to-one correspondence and come to appreciate that the size of a set is given by the last number in the count;

  • investigate different ways of making sets for a given number within 5/10;

  • match numerals to sets;

  • order numerals and sets within 5/10;

  • develop an understanding of conservation of number within 5/10;

  • understand in counting activities that ‘none’ is represented by zero;

  • explore ordinal number;

  • explore the number that comes after, before, between a given number;

  • carry out simple mental calculations;

  • extend, when appropriate, understanding of number beyond 10.

Counting and Number Recognition

Pupils should be enabled to:

  • count in the context of number rhymes, jingles and stories;

  • count forwards in ones within 5/10 from different starting points;

  • count backwards in ones within 5/10 from different starting points;

  • recognise numerals up to 5/10;

  • state, without counting, quantities within 5;

  • make a sensible guess of quantities within 10;

  • explore numbers relevant to their every day lives;

  • extend, when appropriate, counting in ones and recognition of numbers beyond 10;

  • extend activities to include counting in 2s, 5s and 10s.

Understanding Money

Pupils should be enabled to:

  • use money in various contexts;

  • talk about things that they want to spend money on;

  • understand the need to pay for goods;

  • become familiar with coins in everyday use;

  • talk about different ways we can pay for goods;

  • use their number skills in shopping activities.

MEASURES

Pupils should be enabled to:

  • compare two objects of different length/weight/capacity/area; understand and use the language of comparison;

  • order three objects of different length, weight, capacity, area; talk about the ordering using appropriate language;

  • find an object of similar length, weight, capacity, area; talk about their findings in terms of ‘just about the same’ length, weight, capacity, area;

  • begin to explore the notion of conservation of length, weight, capacity in practical situations; engage in discussion about their observations;

  • choose and use, with guidance, non-standard units to measure length/capacity/weight; talk about their work;

  • sequence two or three familiar events;

  • talk about significant times on the clock;

  • compare two intervals of time; talk about their observations in terms of took longer/shorter time;

  • explore time patterns;

  • choose and use, with guidance, non-standard units to measure time; talk about their work.

SHAPE AND SPACE

Pupils should be enabled to:

  • explore and talk about shapes in the environment;

  • build and make models with 3D shapes; create pictures and patterns with 2D shapes;

  • investigate and talk about the properties of shapes;

  • sort collections of shapes in several ways; describe the arrangements;

  • describe and name common 3-D and 2-D shapes;

  • explore body space through different types of movement;

  • explore movement through space during indoor and outdoor play activities;

  • understand and use a range of positional words;

  • explore movement using programmable devices;

  • follow/give directions from/to a partner for simple movements.

SORTING

Pupils should be enabled to:

  • explore freely properties of a range of materials and one/two/three property collections; respond to questions about the arrangements;

  • sort collections of random materials;

  • sort for one criterion using one-property materials; talk about the arrangement;

  • sort for one criterion using two-property collections; re-sort for the second criterion; explain their work;

  • sort for one criterion using three/four-property collections; find the various possibilities; explain their work;

  • partition sets into subsets in preparation for exploring components of number.

PATTERNS AND RELATIONSHIPS

Pupils should be enabled to:

  • investigate and talk about pattern in the environment;

  • copy a simple pattern;

  • continue a simple pattern;

  • create patterns;

  • explore pattern in number;

  • discover the components of numbers within 5/10 by investigating different ways of partitioning sets into subsets practically; talk abut the outcomes;

  • understand the concept of addition by combining sets of objects to find ‘how many’;

  • match objects in real contexts;

  • compare sets by matching objects/counting objects to understand the terms ‘more than’ less than’ ‘the same’;

  • investigate the relationship between addition and subtraction in practical situations.

Progression

As pupils progress through the Foundation Stage they should be enabled to:

  • use appropriate mathematical language and symbols;

  • sort and re-sort materials, recording the outcomes in a variety of ways;

  • talk about data represented in simple block graphs, tables and diagrams;

  • understand the conservation of number;

  • count forwards and backwards from different starting points;

  • recognise numbers to at least 20;

  • carry out mental calculations such as 1 more/less than up to 20, doubles up to 10 and mentally add and subtract within 10;

  • understand that ‘teen’ numbers are made up of 10 plus another number;

  • begin to measure using non-standard units;

  • talk about the properties of 3-D and 2-D shapes using appropriate mathematical language;

  • be involved in solving practical problems.

THE ARTS

The minimum content for The Arts is set out below.

Teachers should enable children to develop knowledge, understanding and skills in:

ART AND DESIGN

Pupils should be enabled to:

  • observe and respond to things seen, handled, remembered and imagined;

  • investigate and talk about colours, lines, shapes, textures and patterns;

  • look at, and respond to a piece of work by artists, designers, illustrators or craft workers;

  • explore and use a wide range of materials and processes;

  • create and develop ideas using colours, lines, shapes, textures and patterns;

  • talk about own and other pupils work, and how the work was made.

Progression

As pupils progress through the Foundation Stage they should be enabled to:

  • use senses to explore real things, developing the capacity for focusing attention to detail;

  • use direct experiences, memory and imagination to observe and respond to the world;

  • begin to use visual language to describe what has been examined and observed;

  • begin to appreciate the visual qualities in the natural and made environment;

  • value own and other pupils’ work;

  • talk about the processes involved in creating own work;

  • look at, explore and talk with some confidence about works of art, craft and design;

  • explore and discover qualities of various materials in order to make choices and to create their own unique pictures and structures;

  • begin to develop a range of skills using materials, tools and processes (drawing, painting, printmaking, textiles, malleable materials and three dimensional construction).

MUSIC

Pupils should be enabled to:

  • work creatively with sound;

  • sing and perform with simple instruments;

  • listen and respond to own and others’ music-making.

Progression

As pupils progress through the Foundation Stage they should be enabled to:

  • be aware of and perform a steady beat;

  • distinguish between loud/quiet sounds, high/low sounds, long/short sounds, fast/slow music;

  • listen to and repeat simple rhythms;

  • make music;

  • watch and respond to start/stop signals;

  • value own and others’ contributions in the team aspect of music making and performing.

DRAMA

Pupils should be enabled to:

  • express thoughts ideas and feelings;

  • develop their creativity through imaginative play;

  • engage in dramatic play to extend the learning;

  • take part in a range of drama games and strategies.

Progression

As pupils progress through the Foundation Stage they should be enabled to:

  • co-operate during role play, negotiate roles, agree rules and act out scenarios;

  • express thoughts, ideas, feelings and imagination with confidence in a range of dramatic contexts using verbal and non-verbal language;

  • adopt and sustain a role.

THE WORLD AROUND US

The minimum content for The World Around Us is set out below.

Teachers should enable children to develop knowledge, understanding and skills in:

Interdependence

Pupils should be enabled to explore:

  • Who am I?

  • What am I?

  • Am I the same as everyone else?

  • What else is living?

  • How do living things survive?

Place

Pupils should be enabled to explore:

  • Where do I live?

  • How have I changed over time?

  • What is in my world?

  • What is beyond my world?

  • How has this place changed?

Movement and Energy

Pupils should be enabled to explore:

  • How do things move now and in the past?

  • Why do things move?

  • How do things work?

  • Why do people and animals move?

  • Where do things move?

  • Where do people and animals move to?

  • What sources of energy are in my world?

  • How and why are they used?

Change over Time

Pupils should be enabled to explore:

  • How do things change?

  • What kind of changes happen, have happened or might happen?

  • How can we make change happen?

Progression

As pupils progress through the Foundation Stage they should be enabled to:

  • show curiosity about the living things, places, objects and materials in the environment;

  • identify similarities and differences between living things, places, objects and materials;

  • understand that some things change over time;

  • understand that different materials behave in different ways, have different properties and can be used for different purposes;

  • understand that some materials change if kept in different conditions;

  • understand that materials can be joined/assembled in different ways;

  • be aware of the local natural and built environment and their place in it;

  • know some of the jobs that are carried out by different people in the local community;

  • be able to sequence familiar events;

  • be aware of different lifestyles;

  • understand the need to respect and care for themselves, other people, plants, animals and the environment;

  • understand and use positional and directional language, as well as simple maps and drawings;

  • be aware of everyday uses of technological tools and know how to use some of these safely.

PERSONAL DEVELOPMENT AND MUTUAL UNDERSTANDING

The minimum content for Personal Development and Mutual Understanding is set out below.

Teachers should enable children to develop knowledge, understanding and skills in:

PERSONAL UNDERSTANDING AND HEALTH

Pupils should be enabled to explore:

  • themselves and their personal attributes;

  • their own and others’ feelings and emotions;

  • their dispositions and attitudes to learning;

  • the importance of keeping healthy and how to keep safe in familiar and unfamiliar environments.

MUTUAL UNDERSTANDING IN THE LOCAL AND WIDER COMMUNITY

Pupils should be enabled to explore:

  • their relationships with family and friends;

  • their responsibilities for self and others;

  • how to respond appropriately in conflict situations;

  • similarities and differences between groups of people;

  • learning to live as a member of a community.

Progression

As pupils progress through the Foundation Stage they should be enabled to:

  • express a senses of self awareness;

  • show some self control and express their own feelings and emotions appropriately;

  • show a positive attitude to learning;

  • adopt healthy and hygienic routines and understand how to keep safe;

  • form good relationships with adults and other pupils;

  • show independence and know when to seek help;

  • show respect when working and playing together and recognise the need for rules;

  • recognise similarities and differences in families and the wider community;

  • be familiar with the interdependent nature of the class/school community.

PHYSICAL DEVELOPMENT AND MOVEMENT

The minimum content for Physical Development and Movement is set out below.

Teachers should enable children to develop knowledge, understanding and skills in:

  • Athletics: Pupils should be provided with opportunities for activities and physical challenges enabling them to learn, understand and develop the core skills of running, jumping and throwing in a co-operative context.

  • Dance: Pupils should be given opportunities to respond to a variety of stimuli and the use of body movements to communicate ideas and express feelings.

  • Games: Pupils should be taught to develop games skills through a range of activities and using a variety of equipment.

  • Gymnastics: Pupils should be taught to explore, create, practice and improve body management skills.

Pupils should be enabled to:

  • listen to and follow simple instructions/rules;

  • take part in warm-up and cool-down activities;

  • experiment with different ways of moving and exploring personal and general space;

  • develop confidence, imagination and some understanding of safety through participating in a range of movement activities;

  • develop body awareness through varying body movements in relation to shape, levels, pathways (straight/curved), directions, speed;

  • use a range of small equipment to develop skills of rolling, pushing, patting, throwing, catching, aiming, hitting, kicking and passing;

  • play/create/modify simple games;

  • listen and respond to a range of stimuli;

  • explore, refine and improve simple movements;

  • create, practise, improve and perform simple movement sequences which have a clear beginning, middle and end;

  • use a range of movement vocabulary to discuss actions;

  • observe, describe and copy what others have done;

  • lift, carry, place and store equipment safely, with adult assistance where appropriate.

Progression

As pupils progress through the Foundation Stage they should be enabled to:

  • move with control and co-ordination;

  • move with confidence, imagination and safety;

  • show an awareness of personal and general space;

  • respond appropriately to instructions and to stimuli;

  • travel, showing changes of speed, direction and level;

  • develop controlled movement, understanding positional language;

  • create, remember and perform simple movement sequences;

  • use a range of small and large equipment appropriately;

  • handle small tools, objects, construction and malleable materials safely and with increasing control;

  • use appropriate language to talk about ideas, feelings and movements of themselves and others;

  • begin to understand the importance of warm-up and cool-down activities before and after exercise;

  • begin to understand the importance of physical activity for good health and the reasons that it is important to dress appropriately for physical activity;

  • be aware of the effects of exercise on their bodies.

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