Our Curriculum

RAFAKidz Big Red Blob

The Early Years Foundation Stage says:

The development of children’s spoken language underpins all seven areas of learning and development. Children’s back-and-forth interactions from an early age form the foundations for language and cognitive development. The number and quality of the conversations they have with adults and peers throughout the day in a language-rich environment is crucial.

By commenting on what children are interested in or doing, and echoing back what they say with new vocabulary added, practitioners will build children’s language effectively. Reading frequently to children, and engaging them actively in stories, non-fiction, rhymes and poems, and then providing them with extensive opportunities to use and embed new words in a range of contexts, will give children the opportunity to thrive.

Through conversation, story-telling and role play, where children share their ideas with support and modelling from their teacher, and sensitive questioning that invites them to elaborate, children become comfortable using a rich range of vocabulary and language structures.

Language, speaking and listening

RAFAKidz believes that the skilful use of spoken language by children provides the key to continued success across all areas of learning. All nursery practitioners are expected to be excellent role-models, able to model new words and phrases, build children’s vocabulary and develop children’s listening skills.

We identify a core set of songs, rhymes and stories for each age group that promote children’s enjoyment of language, confidence in expressing themselves and to be able to speak and listen in a range of situations; from the very youngest to the oldest of our children.

Practitioners will also plan key vocabulary to use during activities and ensure that the environment is conducive to children being able to listen, hear different sounds and have fun with rhyming words.

For children aged under two years we concentrate on building close relationships between RAFAKidz practitioners and babies so that they build their confidence to babble, listen and eventually try out new, single words and follow simple instructions. Practitioners support this learning with lots of different activities during which they use baby and Makaton signs and model new words and short sentences. Our Boogie Mites music programme for babies provides challenge and supports the development of spoken language.

Key skills

  • use 30-50 single words
  • name familiar objects
  • take turns in babbling with another person and eventually using words
  • put some words together in two/three-word sentences
  • follow some simple instructions

For children aged two to three years, practitioners are building on the skills learnt in the baby room. They are constantly modelling new words, concepts and longer sentences. Practitioners provide rich learning experiences both inside and outside that encourage the use of language and give children time to talk. RAFAKidz practitioners use the model and useful guide of four comments to one question to encourage children and help them feel comfortable with talking. Each child will experience our Boogie Mite programme for toddlers which teaches key skills in language in a fun way through music.

Key skills

  • use between 250-300 words
  • be able to use short, recognisable sentences
  • listen and follow more complex instructions

Children aged three to four years will experience a wide range of activities conducive to learning new vocabulary and honing their skills with spoken language. RAFAKidz practitioners are skilful in modelling speech, using questions and other activities to help children think and recognise that language is a powerful tool for communicating. Children’s growing understanding about language is supported by our Boogie Mites Music programme, which develops their listening skills, sense of rhythm and phonic knowledge in a fun and challenging way.

Key skills

  • use a broad vocabulary
  • be able to use complex sentences
  • explain their ideas and reasons
  • be confident to communicate with both adults and other children