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Curriculum Framework

Concepts and Skills in the Learning Areas

Design Of Learning Areas Within The Early Childhood Frameworks

In keeping with the Early Learning philosophy, learning in the Early Childhood Block is not divided into subject areas and is not focused on specific content and skill development. The learning is described through Goals and subdivided into facets. The goals and various components outlined in the curriculum are interdependent and not intended for use in isolation. In practice they are in constant interplay, brought to life by communities of children and adults to constitute the curriculum as an organic whole in which early learning and care are always connected. Professional support documents further elaborate the framework on practice.

An emergent, values-based approach that is grounded in play, inquiry, communication, diversity, and relationships. Learners are viewed as capable and competent contributors to the learning community. ELP supports the health and well-being of children and recognizes family, community, land and environments as both educators and co-learners on the child’s learning journey. Early learning pedagogy is ongoing, intentional, reciprocal, and “attends to the todayness of children’s lives” (NBCF-E, 2008, p. 183). ELP carries a responsibility to honour the rights of children and connect them to the cultural and social fabrics of their respective communities. This way of being weaves a connection between intentional practice (the why), learning (the how), and the NB Curriculum Framework for Early Learning and Child Care – English (the what).

Goals Broad categories of areas of focus: Well-Being; Play and Playfulness; Communication and Literacies and Diversity and Social Responsibility.

Facets & aspects: areas of interest or focus within each goal. NBCF-E is a precursor to the global competencies for K-12.

What’s involved in Learning written in specific terms, clearly indicates behaviours, children engage in within each facet/aspect that are related to learning within and between goals.

Design Of Learning Areas Within The K–12 Curriculum

Each learning area descriptor is introduced with a description of learning and further explained in the Contexts and Concepts section. This is followed by a sequence of learning that corresponds to the program block. The skill progression sequence is set up by Strands, Big Ideas, and Skill Descriptors.

Contexts and Concepts help to articulate how subject area skills will be developed in each program block. For example, they clarify how learning in Mathematics is different from Grade 2 to Grade 7, and how the ways you might explore civic engagement with eight-year-olds differs from the same exploration with 15-year-olds.

The Contexts identify the circumstances for learning in the program block and subject. In some curricular areas the contexts provide an overarching theme or topic area, others are more process oriented. The Concepts section provides a general picture of the understandings which will be the focal point of instruction.

The Contexts and Concepts guide educator choices to situate skill development in purposeful, connected, and relevant content throughout the grade levels.

Strands are categories organized across the curriculum continuum and are overarching to Big Ideas.

The Big Ideas organizer provides the foci for learning in the subject areas. Big Ideas are usually consistent through grade levels program blocks. Big Ideas group learning within Strands and are overarching to the Skill Descriptors. They support educators to focus the skill development on the key areas of development. In some learning areas, there will be no learning in that Grade level context and content within a “big idea”, and in this case there will be blank space.

Skill Descriptors clearly describe the outcome to be evaluated. These relate to the Big Idea Organizers and to the overarching Strand. The skill descriptors may remain the same across grade levels and in this case the performance indicators clarify the difference of the observable behaviors for that level.

In the full grade-level learning area continuum, specific terms are elaborated, each skill descriptor is linked to the relevant global competencies, and a list of achievement indicators of success are provided. As curriculum for the high school courses are updated, they will follow the same format.