Understanding the World

Understanding the World involves guiding children to make sense of their physical world and their community. It helps them to make sense of the world around them, as well as expanding their understanding and appreciation of the wider and more diverse world that we all live in. This area of learning is the foundation to later areas of the curriculum, such as History, Geography, Science R.E. and Computing.  

At Pentland, we place a big emphasis on broadening children's knowledge and understanding of the world. We begin by looking at things that are more familiar to the children and then gradually extend to comparing and contrasting with life beyond their experiences.  Through thinking of their own and their family's experiences, they begin to understand the concept of past and present. We make a lot of use of the outdoor environments and introduce children to as many visitors and new experiences that we can, be it a walk to the local post office or a visit by the 'reptile' man introducing the children to new animals and insects. 

We enjoy learning about lots of celebrations from our own and different cultures and religions to help children understand and develop respect for families different from their own. 

Books are chosen carefully to build children's knowledge in different areas and to introduce and extend their vocabulary.  

Children are able to use a range of ICT within the EYFS, beginning with simple pull and push toys moving onto Ipads and the Prowise board to develop their technological skills and support learning across the curriculum. 


Learning with Understanding the World is broken down into three aspects: 

  • Past and Present
  • People, Culture and Communities
  • Natural World 

Interesting teaching activities will help children to: 

  • Make sense of their own life history and begin to understand their family's history
  • Find out about a range of cultures and beliefs and develop positive attitudes about the differences between people
  • Learn about different occupations
  • Understand that their are different countries in the world
  • Explore and find out about the world around them, asking questions about it and  use a growing vocabulary to talk about what they see
  • Use all their senses to explore and talk about different materials and their properties
  • Explore how things work
  • Know about everyday technology and learn what it is used for
  • Understand the key features of the life cycle of a plant and animals
  • Develop a respect for all living things and how to care for them