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Understanding My World

UNDERSTANDING MY WORLD: To develop an awareness of the world around us, including all forms of diversity and how to stay safe and healthy.  To be able to use mathematical skills functionally.  

Developing an ability to understand different contexts, express individual thoughts and appreciate others' views.

UNDERSTANDING MY WORLD encompasses all of the foundation subjects from the National Curriculum, alongside science.  In understanding MY world, ‘my’ stands for the pupil.  The aim is to provide pupil’s with a breadth of learning experience that is relevant to their lives and presented in a real-world context as much as possible.  Learning is considered through the lens of what pupils will be able to directly apply or use once they leave school.  For example, a topic lesson with a geography focus might look at following directions and increasing a pupil’s knowledge of different countries (an important piece of cultural capital which helps with being able to converse with others).

Understanding My World

Understanding My World focusses on how children get to know about other people, the place where they live and about all aspects of the environment.

In the Revised Early Years Foundation Stage, Understanding the World is broken down into three aspects:

  • People and Communities
  • The World
  • Technology

Finding out about the world around them is what babies and young children do very effectively when they investigate by touching, holding or pressing things and by climbing on and jumping off things. Older children love to explore and investigate how and why things work and to test out their ideas of what will happen if they do a particular thing like pouring more and more water into a container, for example.


People and communities

As children learn about the world around them they find out about the past through talking to parents, grandparents and friends and they develop an interest in their own story as well as the stories in their family – this is the beginning of developing an understanding of the past and helps them to learn about how other people are different from them, yet share some of the same characteristics and ideas.


The World

Understanding of the world develops as children take notice of everything around them including places and all the things within them such as trees in the natural environment and roads and traffic in the built environment. Finding out about places begins initially when a child learns about their own home and the things nearby, then later as children notice things on journeys to and from home – such as the sequence of the traffic lights or names on street signs. This awareness is extended by visiting places and finding out about different elements of environments in books, on TV and through using other technology. This aspect also focuses on learning about cause and effect and is developed through having conversations with adults and other children about the things they observe.



Technology has become commonplace for many families and children often see and use it quite naturally when they activate a toy such as an ambulance or police car to make a siren sound. Recognising the role of technology at home or in a setting is important because this helps children to identify the different types of technology and what they are useful for.



Our curriculum at each school heavily invests in teaching time about pupils and moving on to the next thing.  Often called 'transitions' the term covers many aspects of moving between learning and social environments, physically or remotely.   For many of our pupils, this is very difficult.

We have many transitions during an average day. These include moving from learning to play environments, moving from an activity to another in class, arriving and leaving school at the beginnings and ends of days.  Some of our pupils access particular sensory programmes (including Rebound Therapy) to help with regulation and self-regulation needs.  Some pupils have 1:1 discussions and routines to help them settle into school every morning - using PECS (Picture Exchange Communication System) and others visit the animals to help with their anxieties.

For many parents/carers, one of the highest anxiety raising transitions is that of leaving school at 16yrs and moving to college/work placements.  

Developing a positive sense of the workplace is important to our pupils and much work is undertaken in our curriculum about work-related learning.  Notably, we are striving to have real-life work opportunities on site to support our children access this essential aspect of transitioning to adulthood with increased awareness.

More information can be discussed with your child's particular needs with our Transitions Coordinator: Mrs Jacqui Roper (Collett and St Luke's).