British early key stage curriculum in Dubai: everything you need to know

Freelance education writer Gurkamal Punia Dasani looks at everything you need to know when considering enrolling your young child in a school following a British curriculum…

Living in Dubai, the plothora of choices you’re faced with when choosing an school for your child can be confusing at best. Amonst those decisions is the curriculum you want your child to follow, American, Australian and British are just three of the many internationally recogonised schooling sytems available in Dubai. Britons represent the largest western community in the United Arab Emirates, so it is no wonder that the most popular early years curriculum in Dubai is the British Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS), but what does this curriculum really consist of?

The main principles

The British EYFS curriculum sets high standards and promotes teaching and learning to ensure children’s ‘school readiness’. The curriculum is based on four main principles:

  • Quality and consistency
  • A secure foundation
  • Partnership with team members
  • Equality of opportunity

In addition, there are four overarching principles in the British EYFS system:

  • Every child is unique, and is constantly learning and can be resilient, capable, confident and self-assured.
  • Children learn to be strong and independent through positive relationships.
  • Children learn and develop well in enabling environments in which their experiences respond to their individual needs and there is a strong partnership between practitioners and parents and/or carers.
  • Children learn and develop in different ways and at different rates. The EYFS framework covers the education and care of all children in early years provision, including children with special educational needs and disabilities.

The seven key ares of the EYFS curriculum

  • Communication and language
  • Physical development
  • Personal, social and emotional development
  • Literacy
  • Mathematics
  • Understanding the world
  • Expressive arts and design

The EYFS supports an integrated approach to early learning and care. The progress check at the age of two assists professionals to seek further help if a child’s development is not as expected, providing guidance and allowing support to be implemented as early as possible if required.

The EYFS framework

The curriculum’s Framework does not require the progress check to be completed in a prescribed or standard format. It only specifies that information about a child’s development is provided to parents in the prime areas of learning and development of the EYFS.

Parents are encouraged to become involved in their child’s development and learn how they can support development at home. A ‘what to expect when’ developmental guide is provided to parents.

Apart from being the core document for all professionals working in the foundation years, the EYFS Framework gives mums and dads the confidence that regardless of where they choose for their child to be educated in the early years, they can be assured that the same statutory commitments and principles will underpin their child’s learning and development experience.

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