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What does it look like in EYFS?

In Early Years, children learn to identify landmarks, landscapes and habitats in the local area, and then compare these to locations around the world. This is taught through the topics and opportunities are taken to follow children’s interests as they express them. Children are given opportunities to explore these concepts in continuous provision, with opportunities to explore maps, globes, books and small world resources that show diversity in nature and environments. In addition, these ideas are taught through topics.  

Throughout the year, children are encouraged to observe the changing seasons and our companion units: Exploring Autumn, Winter Wonderland, Signs of Spring and Puddles and Rainbows provide opportunities for this, particularly during Outdoor Learning sessions.  

In the autumn term, 'Me and my community' provides opportunities to study local landmarks and land use, and then compare this to other places that children have visited, alongside towns and cities further afield. They also begin to understand what maps are and how they can be used. In the spring term, in Winter Wonderland, the polar regions are explored, while in Starry Night, children find out about animal habitats and the features that make them suited to their environments. In Once Upon a Time, children love to use and create maps to show the journeys of characters through the settings and use these in their recreations of the stories. 'Dangerous Dinosaurs' and 'Big Wide World' provide plentiful opportunities to describe and compare environments and habitats around the world. 

These contexts enable children to develop the skills to be able to: 

  • Draw information from a simple map; 

  • Recognise some similarities and differences between life in this country and life in other countries; 

  • Explore the natural world around them; 

  • Describe what they see, hear and feel whilst outside; 

  • Recognise some environments that are different to the one in which they live; 

  • Understand the effect of changing seasons on the natural world around them.