Developmental Psychology and Children

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1.1
There are four nations which form the UK: England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales, each of which has approached the planning and delivery of early years education in unique ways.

England: Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS)

England has introduced a statutory curriculum for children aged 0-5 who are being cared for/or educated outside their homes. The EYFS framework applies to childminders, after school clubs, nurseries, pre schools and schools regardless of how they are funded. The EYFS also incorporates the welfare requirements.

The structure of the education programme in England covers the following areas: * Personal, social and emotional development
* Communication, language and literacy
* Problem solving, reasoning and numeracy
* Knowledge and understanding of the world
* Physical development
* Creative development

Children are assessed at the end of reception year. The teacher completes an Early Years Profile which is made up of thirteen different scales that link to the early learning goals from the areas of learning. Whilst there is strength in having a structured framework, given that formal education does not apply to children of all ages within the EYFS, there is criticism and concern that children who remain at home rather than in formal settings during these early years may be considered to be lacking in skills when they commence formal education (National Curriculum). The advantages of such a system, however, is that parents can have assurance that carers are providing a sound experience suited to the age and stage of development of their children, and this is quality assured by Ofsted to ensure poor practice is identified and action is taken to rectify this.

Wales: Foundation Phase

Since August 2008 the Welsh assembly has been phasing in a statutory curriculum knows as the foundation phase. This applies to children aged 3-7 years who are given local authority funding in school, pre schools nurseries and childminders.

The structure of the education programme in Wales covers the following areas: * Personal and social development, well being and cultural diversity * Language, literacy and communication skills

* Mathematical development
* Welsh language development
* Knowledge and understanding of the world
* Physical development
* Creative development

Teachers at the end of the Foundation Phase assess children in three areas: * Personal and social development, well being and cultural diversity * Language, literacy and communication skills in English or Welsh * Mathematical development

Scotland: Curriculum for Excellence

At the time of writing this assignment it is reported that Scotland is in the process of introducing a curriculum which includes children for 3-18 years. Underpinning the curriculum is the idea that children and young people should be given experiences in order to progress their development and will learn according to their own level not according to their age. There are eight areas of experiences and outcomes, written at five levels of competency. In addition to the eight areas, there is a responsibility on practitioners to embed health and well-being, literacy and numeracy across the learning opportunities provided for children.

The structure of the education programme in Scotland covers the following areas: * Expressive arts
* Health and well being
* Languages
* Mathematics
* Religious and moral education
* Sciences
* Social studies
* Technologies

Northern Ireland

Once children are in statutory education they will follow the Foundation stage. There are six areas of learning that form the basis of the curriculum and are taken through into key stage 1 and 2.

The structure of the education programme in Northern Ireland covers the following areas: * Language and literacy
* The world around us
* Mathematics and numeracy
* Personal...
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