The Venture Curriculum
It is a requirement that we cover Early Years Foundation Stage Curriculum for 2 - 5 year olds, which happens easily through our child-led sessions. At Venture the children's experience goes above and beyond the statutory curriculum and what can be experienced at a conventional preschool or nursery. Our ever changing outdoor environment enables the children to choose from a wide and diverse range of activities and personal and social development comes to the fore as they collaborate, problem solve and learn to keep themselves healthy and safe.
Personal, Social and Emotional Development
Spending time outdoors allows children to learn about and connect with nature and also with themselves and others. Children behave very differently in an open, outdoor environment as opposed to a noisy, busy indoor environment. Emotionally children are more balanced and negative behaviours are reduced. Team building skills are extremely important when tackling challenges outdoors and are developed alongside social skills in a natural, unforced way.
Using tools . Competing . Assessing risk . Cooperative games . Day dreaming . Role play . Shelter building . Team work . Fire lighting . Negotiating . Discussing opinions . Sharing snacks / equipment . Completing challenges .
Communication and Language
Children have plenty to say, particularly when they are allowed the space to explore their own thoughts and ideas and develop their own exciting adventures with their friends! As the environment is ever changing, there are always observations to be made and explained or pondered over. We create opportunities throughout the day for children to express their opinions and ideas and to explain their knowledge as well as listening carefully to others.
Performing . Role play . Singing . Listening . Story telling . Discussing opinions and preferences . Sharing ideas . Working together .
Physical development is one of the most important aspects of early childhood education and choosing an outdoor setting for your child is a perfect way to ensure your child gets the fresh air and exercise that they need. Young children learn so much through movement and the outdoors is the perfect environment for developing both gross and fine motor skills. According to guidelines published by the NHS, preschool children need 3 hours per day of physical exercise including bone-strengthening, muscle building and cardiovascular movements. As with adults, exercise improves children’s emotional wellbeing as well as promoting calmness and relaxation.
Time spent outdoors . Climbing . Skimming stones . Digging . Splashing . Dancing . Clay work . Hill rolling . Whittling . Building (dams, nests, dens, bridges) . Stepping stones . Knot tying . Balancing . Assessing risk . Weaving . Tool work . Swinging .
As with all learning, it is important that children are engaged and interested in the activity. The outdoors offers so many opportunities for children to develop their mathematical skills and knowledge in a natural non-contrived way. Most mathematical learning happens through physical play which is an important factor in retention of knowledge for young children.
Comparing and measuring (length, capacity, weight) . Boat building . Counting songs / games . Finding shapes in the natural world . Building (dams, nests, dens, bridges) . Shelter building . Pacing distances . Counting treasures . Collecting . Sorting and categorising .
Literacy is developed in the early years primarily through the enjoyment of stories, rhymes and song. We love to spend quiet (and not so quiet) times with the children sharing books and stories from our imaginations and playing games using words. The gross and fine motor skills necessary to develop writing skills later on in life are honed through physical activities that may not seem related to literacy at all but are important first steps. Children’s emergent writing is encouraged in a natural, purposeful way. Read more about literacy at Venture.
Role play . Mark making . Writing . Reading . Making signs . Singing . Labelling . Story telling . Whittling . Rhyming games . Map reading .
Understanding the World
There is no better place to learn about the world than out in the actual world! It goes without saying that the children at Venture Outdoor Kindergarten constantly learn about the world through a variety of activities.
Bird watching . Skimming stones . Experiencing weather . Observing seasonal change . Magic potions . Splashing . Animal tracking . Boat building . Pond dipping . Experimenting . Watching growth and decay . Planting . Foraging . Shelter building . Fire lighting . Caring for wildlife and the environment .
Expressive Arts and Design
There are natural, open-ended resources galore in our outdoor environment and these are perfect at inspiring creativity and stimulating young imaginations! We purposely limit the number of man-made resources on offer to the children allowing them the freedom to create, build and role play without adult / consumerist influences.