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Learning at Home

Hungry Little Minds  01/03/2020

The government has launched a lovely website called 'hungry little minds'. This is aimed at Early Years children from birth to 5 and gives suggestions as to how to help your children develop their thinking skills and knowledge by doing simple things with you at home. It also has good recommendations for Apps that you can download to help your child learn. It's definitely worth a look!

15th September 2019

For other ideas for learning activities at home please have a look at our newsletters!

Self made phonic books  (9/19)

This year we are sending the phonic books that the children are making home every day so that all our parents can see the sounds that we have been talking about at school that day. These phonic activities are optional so some days the children might be preoccupied with other activities that we do not want to interrupt and so may not add to their collection in their book that day. We have found that the children love looking back over their work and the book serves as a visual reminder of the sounds they have been practicing.

It would be great if you could look through these books with your children and practice recognising the visual letter and the letter sound whilst talking about the pictures in the book that correspond to the sound - it's really fun and the children love it!

Quite Interesting!! Have a look!! (7/18)

The following is an extract from a publication entitled 'Tuning in to two year olds' by Harrow Council as part of their 'Improving outcomes for two year olds' project.(2014). It shows how important it is to understand how 2 year old's brains are developing and what we can do to provide opportunities to develop their lifelong learning skills.


Building a two year old brain

"The brain of  toddler is fizzing with activity. But all this activity is happening in a brain not yet equipped to make sense of it. In the second and third years of life the brain is still developing very quickly but this development is now focused on organizing all the frantic activity going on on the toddler brain." ( Kate Cairns Associates (2013) Five to Thrive


It's not only in the prime areas of development - Communication and Language, Personal, Social and Emotional  and Physical development that  two year olds are making significant steps in. It is the area of brain development that underpins all this. The way that children become lifelong learners is already being influenced and shaped by the way their brain is making connections across and between all areas. The brain has many different parts with different jobs.


In order for two year olds to become lifelong learners and to be resilient, motivated and prepared for future learning opportunities the foundations for all parts of the brain need to be integrated and capable of working together. Part of this development is known as 'Executive function', which includes working memory, inhibitory control and flexible thinking. This alongside emotional regulation provides the keys to open the doors of learning. 


What is happening in a two year old's brain

A two year olds brain still has much to do in relation to these functions. It is through repeated experiences with their parents, key people and other children that they develop the capacity to use these functions. Executive functions continue to develop throughout the lifetime. Of particular importance is the need for two year olds to experience consistent and reliable feedback from trusted adults about their actions. This process is referred to as 'Social referencing', which can be seen when a young child glances at a known and trusted adult to seek approval for something they are about to do. This is the beginning of learning social boundaries, as well as a sense of empathy. A two year old will often shift between impulse and action without using the ' pause' button before acting. The child's ability to pause before acting develops gradually through repeated, supported interaction with attuned adults.


Amazing facts about the growing brain

  • A baby is born with all the brain cells they will need for their lifetime. (About 100 billion).
  • A baby's brain processes information about 16 times slower than the adult brain.
  • A baby's brain doubles in weight in the first year.
  • At times in the first 2 years of life the brain is making a million connections every second.
  • In the first 3 years of life the brain is growing more rapidly than it ever will again.
  • 'Resting periods' when the brain is less involved with external tasks but is nonetheless very active, are important in development.



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