OWIS Blog

Early Childhood Education: Building a Strong Foundation for Future Academic Success

Posted by Michelle Dickinson on 20/01/18 07:00

The emotional, social and physical developments of young children have a direct impact on their overall academic growth and future prospects as an adult. Access to outstanding early childhood education is instrumental to a child’s development. Pre-literacy and pre-numeracy skills build a strong foundation for learning phonics for reading and writing and basic mathematics. Educators who facilitate early childhood provision play a crucial role in embarking young children on their learning journey to a successful future.

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Neural Pathway Development Most Active Before Age 5

Research links early childhood education to important cognitive, social and emotional gains. In fact, the majority of critical brain development takes place before children even reach their first year of school. Researchers have found that the human brain is most receptive to learning between birth and three years of age. Indeed, according to researchers at Johns Hopkins University, this is the most critical time for laying active neural pathways and the optimum time to maximise cognitive development in pre-literacy and pre-numeracy skills.

Pre-literacy and Pre-numeracy Skill Development

A house is only as strong as its foundation; the same goes for a child’s future academic success. Without solid pre-literacy and pre-numeracy skills in place, a child may find learning challenging as they get older. At OWIS, our early childhood programme includes these critical pre-literacy and pre-numeracy skills development, shaping our bright young minds into lifelong learners.

What is pre-literacy? This is a term covering a child's ability to identify letters, numbers or shapes. In addition to a basic awareness of the alphabet, pre-literacy includes oral language and the awareness of sounds (phonemics) as well as basic print concepts, like reading from left to right and up to down on a page. Pre-literacy helps young children recognise letters and sounds, preparing them for reading and writing. Oral language skills can be one important predictor of future academic success. Language is the foundation for reading development and is closely tied to a child’s future strength as a reader and writer.

In addition,pre-literacy skill building addresses self-regulation and motivation. Children who can self-regulate are able to control their behaviour; they can sit patiently, listen to a story and follow directions in a classroom setting. Children must learn to self-regulate behaviour in order to focus and concentrate while reading or writing.

What are Pre-numeracy skills? These are planned and play-based opportunities that help children to develop the foundations of their basic number sense. This includes concepts such as representation, spatial awareness, measurement, estimation, patterns and problem solving– all skills that are critical building blocks for mathematics. Before children enter primary school, they should have a solid mastery of pre-numeracy skills and a developing understanding of addition and subtraction concepts.

Success Starts with Early Childhood Education

Mathematical development, literacy and spatial awareness complement a child's social and emotional development. Cultivating strong pre-literacy and pre-numeracy skills give children a solid academic foundation through phonemic awareness and number concepts. By the time our youngest learners leave our Early Childhood programme, they are well prepared to deepen their understanding and learning in our dynamic Primary School.

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Topics: Early Childhood

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