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Understanding the World (UtW)

Understanding the world is a fundamental aspect of early years education at Brackenhill Primary School. It ignites children’s curiosity and encourages them to ask questions, explore, and seek answers. This curiosity forms the basis for a lifelong love of learning.

Through understanding the world, children learn about different cultures, environments, and phenomena. They develop knowledge about the natural world, technology, people, and communities. This lays the foundation for more complex learning in later stages of education. It also helps children develop critical thinking skills. As children learn to observe, compare, classify, and analyse information, they also learn how to solve problems and make informed decisions. These skills are essential for success in their later academic and professional life.

Moreover, understanding the world also encompasses understanding oneself and others. Through learning about different cultures, traditions, and perspectives, children develop empathy, respect, and appreciation for diversity. This promotes positive social interactions and their emotional intelligence. It is also worth noting that in today’s interconnected world, global awareness and understanding are crucial. By learning about the world around them from an early age, children become more prepared to navigate and contribute to an increasingly diverse and complex society.

At Brackenhill, we celebrate the cultural diversity at our setting and help our pupils to develop their understanding of British Values such as mutual respect and tolerance. In this way, pupils are able to develop their understanding of culture as a broader term and begin to have a more outward-facing view of the world view than they currently do. For instance, we look at our own backgrounds, customs and traditions and compare these to other ways of life. (Bonfire Night, Diwali, Remembrance Day, Christmas etc.) Conflict resolution is also an ongoing area of learning for our youngest children and through this, children in the earliest stages consider how they can work through problems or conflicts in ways that do not physically, emotionally, or socially hurt others involved. Modelling of how to do this peacefully provides children with opportunities to feel competent in handling difficult situations that may arise and helps them to develop strong relationships with peers and adults in their life. This area also fosters feelings of respect for the self and other people, as well as respect for new ideas. Furthermore, this provides great opportunity for pupils to develop characteristics of effective learning skills such as perseverance, resilience and decision making by engaging in activities where they must work as a team and problem solve in order to achieve a result.

Additionally, our Conservation topics allow pupils to think about the future and consider sustainability; in particular, how they can be responsible citizens in their community and beyond. Pupils begin to learn about how their own behaviours impact the environment and develop a caring and compassionate attitude towards the natural world as they search for minibeasts, grow their own produce and classify plants etc. Topics such as ‘What on Earth…?’ help young children to understand the impact of human behaviour on rainforests and marine mammals and children begin to develop an awareness of the impact of waste and pollution across the globe. This allows for the development of deeper understanding in relation to how we can help protect our planet.

Through a rich and diverse curriculum, hands-on experiences, and supportive learning environments, we aim to equip our young learners, particularly the most disadvantaged, with the knowledge, self-belief and cultural capital they need to succeed in life, building on what they know and can do, towards increasing knowledge and skills for their future learning so they may become compassionate and globally aware individuals.

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