The Foundation Stage encompasses children from 2 years old.
The curriculum for this phase is the only statutory curriculum provided by the Government and we follow it by implementing ‘The Early Years Foundation Stage Curriculum’ which was published in 2012. Learning through play is key to the development of these very young children and we provide appropriate activities and a high degree of autonomy to maximise motivation.
The three prime areas are:
- Communication and Language
- Physical Development
- Personal, Social and Emotional Development
The specific areas are:
- Understanding the world
- Expressive arts and design
- The school plans activities which reflect the three characteristics of effective teaching and learning.
- Play and exploring – children investigate, experience things and ‘have a go’
- Active learning – children concentrate and keep on trying if they encounter difficulties and enjoy achievements
- Creating and thinking critically – children have and develop their own ideas, make links between ideas and develop strategies for doing things
In detail these prime and specific areas are:
- Communication and language development involves giving young children opportunities to experience a rich language environment; to develop their confidence and skills in expressing themselves; and to speak and listen in a range of situations.
- Physical development involves providing opportunities for young children to be active and interactive; and to develop their co-ordination, control and movement. Children must also be helped to understand the importance of physical activity, and to make healthy choices in relation to food.
- Personal, social and emotional development involves helping children to develop a positive sense of themselves, and others; to form positive relationships and develop respect for others; to develop social skills and learn how to manage their feelings; to understand appropriate behaviour in groups; and to have confidence in their own abilities.
- Literacy development involves encouraging children to link sounds and letters and to begin to read and write. Children must be given access to a wide range of reading materials (books, poems, and other written materials) to ignite their interest.
- Mathematics involves providing children with opportunities to develop and improve their skills in counting, understanding and using numbers, calculating simple addition and subtraction problems; and to describe shapes, spaces and measures.
- Understanding the world involves guiding children to make sense of their physical world and their community through opportunities to explore, observe and find out about people, places, technology and the environment.
- Expressive arts and design involves enabling children to explore and play with a wide range of media and materials, as well as providing opportunities and encouragement for sharing their thoughts, ideas and feelings through a variety of activities in art, music, movement, dance, role-play, and design and technology
Throughout the Foundation Stage the children are monitored using the Development Matters descriptors. The ‘Foundation Stage Profile’ is a measure of children’s development at the end of the Foundation Stage in the reception class. A record is kept of each child’s development which is shared with parents.