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The Good Shepherd

Catholic Primary School

“I am the Good Shepherd; I know my own and my own know me”. John 10:14"

Understanding the world

In the Good Shepherd EYFS, Understanding the world involves guiding children to make sense of their physical world and their community.  We value children’s wide-ranging experiences outside of school and strive to provide them with a wealth of experiences during their time in school to increase their knowledge and sense of the world around them – from visiting local parks and shops, libraries, theatres and farms to meeting important members of society such as police officers, nurses and firefighters.  Our EYFS curriculum is founded on reading with children a broad selection of stories, non-fiction, rhymes and poems to help 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 supports later reading comprehension.

Our newly named Stem Den in the middle of our garden is inspiring lots of curiosity and interest among the children. Full of natural objects - pebbles, fallen logs, conkers, pine cones and leaves collected on walks, bug hotels and bird feeders, the children learn to explore the natural world around them including mini beasts and their habitats. They look at changing states - finding ways to free the frozen penguins from using hammers and rocks, warm hands and placing them in the sun. They have access to a wide range of age-appropriate scientific non-fiction books, learn new vocabulary and use maths and scientific tools like magnifying glasses, view finders, measuring tapes and magnets.

Recognising and following signs, symbols and positional language is a key part of our On the Move topic. Starting with Rosie's Walk, the children learn where things are in relation to each other and start to make their own maps, including their journeys to school. These maps demonstrate their growing spatial awareness and provide a fascinating insight into their practical engagement with the world but also provide insight into the places they value or that worry them.

Exploring the aquatic and woodland habitats of Gunnersbury Triangle, using nets and trays to discover the small invertebrates and plants that live within

Investigating the effect of different light sources in the dark and making and using flitter jars to look at how light travels through coloured filters

Observing changing physical states, finding ways to melt ice and release the frozen penguins, and the irreversible chemical change that happens during cooking

Planting beans, and tomato and pumpkin seeds in pots, measuring them as they grew and learning how to nurture them until they were strong enough to plant outside. We had enormous success with our pumpkins and grew eight of our own from last year's seeds to turn into soup!

Visiting farms enables children to compare rural and urban settings, learn about how their food is grown and see a wide range of animals up close

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With Love at the core of all we do at The Good Shepherd we: Learn to Love together, Love to Learn together, pray together and play together. Putting our faith into action. Growing in the Love and Truth of Christ in His Church for the benefit of all.